Monks prepare to fight for temple mark


The Shaolin Temple has set up a company to protect its trademark SHAOLIN TEMPLE. Henan Shaolin Temple Industrial Development Ltd Co is now initiating a trademark filing programme both in China and abroad, after numerous disputes arose concerning the use of the trademark by former monks conducting commercial kung fu shows.

The Shaolin Temple was established over 1,500 years ago in Henan Province and is widely regarded as the birthplace of the style of martial arts that eventually evolved into kung fu. The temple began attracting attention in the 1970s following a series of films which featured the temple. This attention increased following the making of the most recent film The Shaolin Temple starring Jet Li.

Shi Yongxin, the abbot of Shaolin Temple, has said: "It is our unshirkable historical responsibility to protect and rejuvenate the culture of Shaolin."

Although the trademark SHAOLIN was first registered in China in 1994 to protect the trademark rights of the Shaolin Temple Sword Factory, unauthorized registrations of trademarks using 'Shaolin' have since been made in Australia. The creation of the new company may help the Shaolin Temple secure the cancellation of these and other registrations, as well as stop the unauthorized use by former monks.

Lindsay Esler, Deacons, Hong Kong

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