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TV station in court over IPR argument
Latest Updated by 2006-08-29 10:25:47
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GUANGZHOU: A local television station appeared in court yesterday for allegedly violating private intellectual property rights (IPR).

The Guangzhou TV Station was asked to stop showing a popular TV beauty contest programme  "Beauty in the Flower City"  by Hua Cheng, who insisted he was the producer and owner of the programme.

"The programme has not been shown properly according to the initial plans and the station has violated the copyright," said Hua.

Hua began working at the station in 1987, launched the programme  in 1988 and left the station in 2000.

"The programme was not assigned by the station and it was launched without any financial support from the station during the first session," Hua said. "I collected money through advertisements and produced the programme all by myself. As a result, it became a personal TV product," he insisted in Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court.

The station denied the charges in court yesterday, saying the programme's copyright should not belong to an individual.

"The programme's copyright belongs to the station since Hua launched it in the name of the station," said lawyer Zhu Xiaobing of the station.

According to Zhu, the station registered the programme's trademark in 2000.

However, the Guangdong Provincial Copyright Bureau said Hua registered the  copyright of the programme in June this year.

The TV station was also asked by Hua to pay compensation of nearly 10 million yuan (US$1.25 million), believed to be the largest amount of its kind in the nation.

The court did not reach a verdict yesterday.

"It was a typical IPR case involving trademark rights and a copyright dispute," said Zhou Yuzhong, a lawyer at a Guangzhou-based law consultation firm.

According to Zhou, the programme should be thought of as a personal product if not supported financially by the station.

Editor: Yan

By: Qiu QuanlinSource: China Daily Website
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