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IP protection at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games

22 September 2023

IP protection at the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games

Photo: The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou

Guo Cai, Partner, Jin Mao, Beijing

Intellectual property protection measures are in place for the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, which will run from September 23 to October 8, 2023. 

In 2018, organizers of the quadrennial multi-sport event had applied for a “special symbol” status for its emblem, slogan and mascots. The application has been approved, placing the emblem, slogan and mascots under the Hangzhou Key Trademark Protection list.  

“Pursuant to the relevant Administrative Regulations, special symbols refer to emblems, mascots, slogans, images, often composed of words and designs and used in national or international cultural, sports, scientific research or other social and public welfare activities held under the auspices of China’s State Council. The organization committee of the Asian Games in Hangzhou had registered 20 symbols – including images of the mascots, Chinese and English versions of the official emblem – as special symbols under 45 trademark categories,” said Guo Cai, a partner at Jin Mao in Beijing. Special symbols are valid for four years once approved.  

Xie Ruiqiang, Partner, Jin Mao, Shanghai

“The Administrative Regulations for Special Symbols create a ‘licensing program’ that enables the owner of registered special symbols to manage the usage of special symbols. Unauthorized usage may result in pecuniary sanctions,” added Xie Ruiqiang, a partner at Jin Mao in Shanghai. 

Also duly protected are the mascots’ industrial design and the copyright for Asian Games-related creations such as literature, music and graphic works. 

“The above IP protective measures are enforced by a provincial level administrative regulations that specify punishments for unlicensed use of the special symbols or trademarks or unauthorized broadcasting of the Asian Games, including the opening and closing ceremonies,” said Cai. 

Other IP protection measures for Asia’s version of the Olympic Games include conducting intensive inspections at venues and on goods, publicity campaigns to educate the public about IP protection, and availability of channels through which complaints and reports may be made, among others.  

Originally scheduled in 2022, the 19th edition of the Asian Games was moved to 2023 due to Covid-19 restrictions.  

- Espie Angelica A. de Leon 

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