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April 12, 2012

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

City animation studio wins Monkey King suit

SHANGHAI Animation Film Studio, which owns the copyright of the classic Chinese image Monkey King, won a lawsuit against three Chinese companies involved in intellectual property infringement, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court said yesterday.

Three defendants in southern China's Guangdong Province were ordered to stop stealing the image and pay a total of 500,000 yuan (US$79,280) in compensation to the studio.

The studio produced the animated film "Monkey King" in 1961, and it became a hit both at home and abroad. The vivid imagery in "Monkey King" cemented the film as a milestone in China's animation film history, the court heard.

In 2008, the studio found that the Tianxingzhe Culture Broadcast in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, used the image on without its permission.

In addition, Tianxingzhe also authorized Zhuhai Qianzhi Shoe to use the image as a logo for its children's shoes in 2008 and set up Wukong garment company to promote the shoes, the studio charged.

Tianxingzhe claimed it bought copyright and overseas publishing rights in 2001 and called itself the "father of new Monkey King." It also put a video of part of the film on the website.

The studio acknowledged it signed a contract with the company to screen the film in the United States in 2001, but the contract ended in 2006.

Tianxingzhe argued the Monkey King image it used was redesigned and different from the studio's.

The studio demanded compensation of 5.15 million yuan and a public apology.

After comparing the major characteristics of the two images, the court ruled that Guangdong's Monkey King was similar to the studio's.

It ordered the three Guangdong companies to pay.


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