The Beijing-based New Oriental Education Group has appealed to the Beijing High People's Court to revisit a copyright and trademark ruling that ruled in favor of US-based Education Testing Service (ETS) and another educational institution.
The Beijing High People's Court and the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court confirmed yesterday that the appeal had been lodged. The former will now handle the matter but a hearing date has not been set.
In the first ruling by the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court in late September, New Oriental was ordered to pay 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) to ETS for copyright and trademark infringements.
It illegally published TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) papers on the Chinese mainland without authorization from ETS.
Xu Xiaoping, the group's spokesman, told <i>China Daily</i> yesterday New Oriental is appealing because it believes the trademark right used in the ruling was unclear, the law was interpreted erroneously during the case and it had been too harshly penalized.
Xu is also a trustee of New Oriental, one of China's most prestigious English language schools for people preparing to enter overseas universities. It occupies over 50 per cent of the market share on the mainland.
New Oriental declined to make a public apology in the authoritative judicial affairs newspaper Legal Daily after the initial finding as it "apologized through the media many times after the judgment, to ETS and Chinese students,'' Xu said.
According to the spokesman, New Oriental began communicating with ETS in 1995, trying to achieve authorization to publish its TOEFL and GRE papers.
"But New Oriental and other training groups on the Chinese mainland were refused the right until September, about a dozen days before the judgment,'' Xu said.
Tom Ewing, spokesman for the ETS headquarters told China Daily yesterday that they are confident and hope that the court will confirm their decision and rule ETS' favor again in the second instance.
He said: `` ETS is never concerned with money (compensation), but to give Chinese students fair chances and test scores respected worldwide.''
(China Daily October 15, 2003)