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December 14, 2012

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Chocolate turns out not so sweet for this happy land

SHANGHAI industry and commerce authorities said they were looking into allegations that a planned chocolate theme park has infringed the copyrights of a similar brand of another city-based company.

The park, "Chocolate Happy Land," is being built at the former Africa Pavilion inside the former World Expo 2010 site, and covers more than 30,000 square meters.

But the idea doesn't seem to be so sweet now. Unidentified sources said the park looks like a copy of the existing "World Chocolate Wonderland," which claims to be China's first chocolate-themed exhibition.

Zheng Yaoting, the founder of "wonderland", told the local magazine Xinmin Weekly that "it's disgraceful to violate intellectual property rights."

The "wonderland" said it has invested tens of millions of yuan to build the brand and has attracted more than 2 million visitors countrywide for its five exhibitions so far. The company held its latest exhibition last year in the Pudong New Area.

Zheng said that one of their former employees, Wang Seng, is a shareholder in the rival firm. Wang, however, tried to play down the dispute.

Wang said the opening of the parking has been put off. "It's just a small violation. Some of my staff used the wonderland's pictures during the promotion."


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