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Investors Eye Cartoon Logos

Cartoon logo designers might have been barely able to make ends meet before the First China International Animation and Cartoon Festival in Hangzhou. But not anymore. It would seem that "manga" mania has suddenly turned cute little animated logos into one of this season's hottest commodities.

About a month ago, a local film and TV materials product company in Xiaoshan District introduced a brand new type of investment in Hangzhou that has taken the city by storm. The company spent over 30,000 yuan to register 200 cartoon logos.

That set the trend.

Soon after, other professional trademark investors rushed to design studios asking for cutesy-pie fun images they could use as branding for children's wear and a whole range of other products.

Ye Zhengchao, general manager of Hangzhou Chaochao Brand Design Co. Ltd, noted that the festival has proven to be a success so far, and this might have a positive impact on businessmen looking to diversify their interests.

Ye said: "A couple of days ago, a real estate speculator came here and was surprised to find that the anime carnival hogged the front-page spotlight in many local newspapers. He was inspired and asked me to work on 30 cartoon logos based on some household cartoon names like Sun Wukong, the Monkey King from 'Journey to the West'."

Some investors have chosen to diversify their portfolios to include registering cartoon logos, moving their money out of stocks and shares because cartoons are less risky. They believe that registered trademarks are well protected by the government.

Ye explained that as a result of the trademark legislation that was enacted in 2001, many of the restrictions on trademark registration were removed. Individuals can now register their own trademarks, thereby giving them the right to transfer ownership of that trademark or to change it if they choose.

He added that this trend indicates a growing consciousness of self-protection and also investment. But he lamented: "The only thing they lack is the awareness of 'originality'."

The festival is on until June 5.

(China.org.cn by staff reporter Li Xiao, June 3, 2005)

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