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US ETS Files Charges Against 'New Oriental' over Copyright


'New Oriental', famous English exam training school has been lately sued by the US-based Educational Testing Service (ETS) for infringement of copyright. Hearings of the case lasting three whole days yield no results.

Copyright disputes between 'New Oriental' and ETS started as early as 1996. Six years later, ETS got really angry and raised the damages from last year's 1 million yuan to 30 million yuan (US$120,779 to US$3.6 million).

At the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court, June 1, reporter saw that ETS employed three senior lawyers along with one invited from the US. While 'New Oriental' seemed even more prepared, equipped with a five-member lawyer group as well as Xu Xiaoping, vice-president of New Oriental as 'supervisor'.

The two parities spent two days in raising evidence and then argued on whether 'New Oriental' enjoy the copyright, use exam questions improperly and infringed upon ETS's trade mark right of TOEFL, GRE and GMAT.

In fact this is far from the first trouble 'New Oriental' met, nor it the first copyright row between the two parties. As early as late 90s ETS warned and punished 'New Oriental' through Chinese concerned departments and the latter apologized sincerely.

Actually ETS is not unwilling to cooperate, but want to firstly offer limited cooperation. However, ETS found it unsatisfied with 'New Oriental' for repeated copyright infringement, ETS's lawyer said.

Why the two parties are still bound to each other since both feel unsatisfied? That is because of economic benefit. ETS is reluctant to abandon 'New Oriental' for its profound influence and rich experience to cope with TOEFL, GRE and GMAT in China. As a partner, 'New Oriental' has successfully built up confidence in Chinese students' heart and people apply for the above mentioned exams increase year by year. All these have practically extended ETS's market share in China.

ETS surely has not intended to finish 'New Oriental' off with a single blow, but rather to seek further control of it for more market shares instead of being replaced by other adversaries such as IELTS, expert said.

(People's Daily June 7, 2002)

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ETS Sues Chinese School for Copyright Infringement

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