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商号不应该成为原创者的伤号》 英文版郑渊洁演讲《商标不应该成为原创者的伤标-郑洪升
我儿子郑渊洁没有微信公众号,他授权我将他在2017中国(深圳)国际文化博览会上的演讲的英文版发布在我的公众号上:
Neither Trademarks nor Trade Names should become a Creator’s Dread Marks or Dread Names
——Zheng Yuanjie’s Speech at China’s (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair
Speaker: Zheng Yuanjie
Translator: Zhu Quxia
This time, I have been invited as a speaker to China’s (Shenzhen) Cultural Industries Fair. Yesterday when I entered the hotel room, I saw the decoration of four Chinese characters meaning “ King of the Fair Tales”) made of pedals, and three snails made of folded towels. The staff of the hotel told me that they read my journal “The King of the Fairy Tales “when they were small. Knowing that I would be staying in their hotel on May 10, the 32th anniversary of “The King of the Fairy Tales” since its debut, they made these to congratulate me on this special occasion, as snails can embody my perseverance in being the sole author of “The King of the Fairy Tales” for 32 years.

Later a reporter came. She told me that it was her second interview with me. Hearing this, I said off hand that she looked familiar to me. Yet she replied that the first interview was done on telephone. Such embarrassment resulted from a lack of Big Data (Maga Data). Just now, Mr. Mu, the vice governor of Guizhou Province, and I had a chat, I got to know that the base of Big Data in our country is in Guizhou Province, where there are the most suitable conditions and environment of geography and humanity for data storage.

Talking about Big Data, one fact I know is that China is now a major power of trademarks in the world. There are over five million trademarks already registered. It is claimed China has the largest number of registered trademarks in the world. The registration quantity is on the top of the world, but what about the quality?
The quality of trade mark registration involves three determinants: originality of trademarks, protection of intellectual property and safeguarding IP owners’ interests from vicious applicants’ infringements.
We all know that trademark registration is the reflection of IP protection. Trademark registration aims to protect creators’ interests related to their creations, to intensify intellectual property protection and to boost economic development. China’s (Shenzhen) Cultural Industries Fair has benefited greatly from the intensification of Intellectually Property protection in China, which can be easily seen from the augmentation of the Fair’s influence and scale. Most of the products displayed in the CCIF demonstrate creations and innovations of the creators, who are the immediate beneficiaries of intellectual property protection. If some of the registered trademarks have proved to be infringements on the creators’ intellectual property rights yet are still protected by the law, the creators whose creations are related to the trademarks will be seriously demotivated. Then the trademark registration management will be acting like criminal assistants holding a candle for the devil. In that case, trademarks will become the creators’ dread marks, the dread in our head, and dread in our heart.

Now I would like to share with you my experiences of forty years’ creative writing and trademark registration, offering you the big data about me好一朵小兰花 , the writer, and about all these years’ trademark registration.
I started my creative writing in 1977, when I was 22 years old.
As you are aware, fundamentally铃木一郎 , a writer should create his/her own literary images, in other words, his fictional characters, through creative writing. It will be a great pity for a writer if he/she fails to produce excellent literary works that are often quoted and widely loved due to the characterization of some renowned characters with distinguished personalities.
At the early stage of my creative writing, my dream was to create my own literary images. The naming of my characters is based on this: the family names of the characters should be in the list of Chinese family names, the first names should be able to arouse readers’ curiosity. Picasso’s paintings could not draw people’s attention at the very beginning, the reason of which, he thought, was because that his family name was too commonplace and unappealing. After he replaced it to a rarer surname “Picasso”, his mother’s family name, things changed for the better.
When I was in military service repairing and maintaining F-6, the general commander of Fuzhou Military Region was Pi Dingjun. On Feb. 10, 1981, when I first began to write Pipilu’s Story, I used the General Commander’s family name. The aircraft armament technician at that time was a Mr. Shu. When I first wrote Shuke in 1982, I used Mr. Shu’s family name. Beita, the character in my fairy tale, also bears a Chinese family name. There was at that time, a Chinese scientist whose name was Bei Shizhang. As the character I created in 1986, Luoke has a family name which is very common in China.




Pipilu牟冠红 , Luxixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke are the five major characters I created in my writing. During the forty years of my creative writing, the stories of the five major characters have been published in the children’s magazine, “The King of the Fairy Tales”, and in my books. The circulation of the monthly magazine and my books have exceeded three hundred million copies. I have three generations of readers. For 31 years, I get up and begin my writing at 4:30 every morning. I wish that my diligence will bear fruits and bring me good harvest. In 2008biu雷哥 , the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization awarded me ”International Copyright Innovation Gold Award” for producing so many literary works through creative writing.

However, I soon found myself besieged on all sides by the infringement on trademarks and trade names of all kinds.
In 1992, when I realize that the huge circulation of the books and magazine related to Pipilu苦力强 , Luxixi, Shuke and Beita might bring them great commercial value and endow them with the features of famous brands, I decided to apply for trademark registration of these characters. As I was a layman, I approached some trademark registration agency and ask them to do the application on my behalf. The agency requested 3000 yuan for service fee of each trademark.
I have registered Pipilu, Luxixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke, at the expense of 15,000 yuan. I told my young readers in “The King of the Fairy Tales” through lawyer’s statement that Pipiu and his pals are registered trademarks and will be protected by the Law.

Yet good days did not last long. Soon after trademark registration of the five main characters, I was told by the agency that someone had already registered Trademark Pipilu, and was then in the public domain. I was shocked. I asked them, “haven’t we just registered Pipilu as a trademark王嘉儒 ? The agency told me that I only registered Pipilu under one category, there were still 44 more categories where others could apply for trademark registration. I was shocked. I made a calculation. If I registered Pipulu as a trademark under 45 categories all across the board, I had to spend 135,000 yuan. Yet Pipilu’s registration was not enough, I had to register Luxixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke for trademark registration protection贝奥武夫影评 , and the fee of registration would amount to 675,000 yuan.
And you cannot get it over with once and for all. In ten years, the validity of the trademarks will expire. If you want to renew the trademark registration you need to spend another 675终不知车 ,000 yuan.
I asked the agency, what would happen if I did not want to register so many trademarks. The agent told me that others would register the trademark of Pipilu and the like under the categories that I skipped. Once they succeeded in their application, their trademarks of Pipilu, etc, would be protected by the law. You see, vicious preemptive trademark registration is like money laundering浪凌飞 , it turns dirty money clean.

The trademark registration agency also informed, anybody who has an axe to grind might reap where you have sown and make preemptive trademark registration under a certain category where you had not registered. During the three months when the registration is in public domain, you may stop its registration by submitting your objection, which will, again, cost you 3000 yuan.
If I want to protect my IP with trademark registration, the royalty I get might not be sufficient for paying the registration fee! At that moment, I was trapped in such a dilemma, bitter and sad. I told the agency that I wanted to give up all trademark registration, they warned me that I might have to face serious consequence in light of the commercial value of my characters brought by the huge circulation of hundreds of millions copies of my works. They also predicted that I might find the registered trademarks of my IP everywhere, that my readers might presume those businesses were mine and bought the products out of their trust and their admiration for me. As the businesses were owned by those who had no integrity as to take advantage of the popularity of famous literary characters through vicious preemptive trademark registration, chances were they would swindle the customers by selling fake products. For these wrong doings of others, they said, “you will have to take the blame“.
I was in great panic. I decided to squander all my royalty on the trademark registration for Pipilu, Luxixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke all across the board. I would register Pipilu under the second category of paint and the like, Luxixi, under the seventh category of machine tool马德龙病 , Beita, under the tenth category of prosthesis, Shuke, under the nineteenth category of asphalt莲雾的吃法 , Luoke, under the thirteenth category on the fire arms and ammunition, so on and so forth…
Yet when I was told that there is a regulation called “withdrawal of three”, I aborted the plan of the so called “withdrawal of three” refers to the invalidation of a registered trademark after three years if the said trademark has not been used in business operation or product sales. In other words, if I have spent 675,000 yuan on trademark registration of Pipilu, Luxixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke, I will have to deal in the products related to them. That means I will have to manufacture Luoke handguns, may I draw your attention to this, the Luoke handguns I have to make should be genuine handguns not toy handguns, as the toy handgun is under the twenty-eighth category. Besides, I have to manufacture and sell Luxixi machine tools which including lathe, miller and planer and the like. I will also have to produce and sell Pipilu paint which should be environmentally friendly. What’s more, there are still Shuke asphalt, Luoke asphalt, and Pipilu asphalt I have to handle.
I am an author of fairy tales with no shortage of imagination. Yet my imagination seems insufficient and often exhausts every time in face of such scenario: while writing for “The King of the Fairy Tale” as the sole author of the magazine, Author Zheng Yuanjie still had to be a fire arms and ammunition dealer, a machine tool manufacturer, a asphalt supplier, a blanket producer under the 27th category, a match maker (producer) under the 34th category, the dentures/false teeth maker under the 10th category…
Then I asked the agency if there was any approach to be adopted to solve the problem for good. They told me that could be done by applying for registration of famous trademarks. If Pipilu is deemed as a renowned brand, any other people cannot register Pipilu as his/her trademark under any category. When inquired for the procedure of applying for a renowned trademark, I was told that I had to pay 600,000 yuan for each renowned trademark. I wanted to know whom this amount of money would go to, they said that half of the money would be kept as their income, and the whereabouts of the other half, I should have known.
I told them that I didn’t know, but the Central Inspection Committee must know the whereabouts of the money.
I wondered if my ownership of the renowned trademark would last forever, they confirmed that the valid period of a renowned trademark is ten years. In ten years’ time, I would have to go through the same process one more time to get another ten years’ extension. When asked if another 600,000 yuan for a renowned trademark extension was needed, they responded that it would depend on the price index.
I did some calculation. 600,000 yuan for renowned trademark registration for Pipilu农家弃妃, 600,000 yuan for Luxixi, 600,000 yuan for Shuke, 600,000 yuan for Beita, and 600,000 yuan for Luoke, all add up to three million yuan. After ten more years, at least another three million yuan is needed for the extension…
I was overwhelmed by frustration, bewilderedness, helplessness I went through. I even went so far as to regret creating Pipilu, Luxixi and their pals. In places where trademark registration cannot protect IP creators, isn’t the creators’ creation only an act of asking for trouble? Nowadays, trademarks have become creators dread marks.
Things turned out as the agency predicted, there are now 218 trademarks of Pipilu, Luxixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke that have been successfully registered!

Wherever I go, I will always come across readers asking “is Pipilu West Restaurant in ZhengZhou yours? “is Luxixi cooked meat produced by Xianweibao Food Factory the product of yours”, “is Pipilu wild chilly pigskin your authorized product?”…
I can make a plea for invalidation of these 218 trademarks of viciously preemptive registration, but I need to hand out 700 yuan for each trade mark to National Trademark Registration Bureau. Plus the cost of human resources and time consumed戴欣明 , the expenditure on every trademark will be 1,500 yuan. The cost for 218 trademarks will be 436,000 yuan!
That seems not enough, my objection to the trademark registration of my IP protection might be denied by National Trademark Bureau, In May 2015, someone viciously applied for registration of Trademark 14761540 “Shuke and Beita”盛世女皇商 , I objected as the creator of the said IP, but my objection has been rejected by National Trademark Bureau! Thus the vicious applicant has successfully registered Trademark “Shuke and Beita”. There are other cases like viciously registered Trademark 12375983 “ Shuke and Beita”, so on and so forth… it is hard to list them all. Every time I submit objection to the vicious trademark application of my IP, I have to pay 3000 yuan whether it is accepted or not.
I want to propose that National Trademark Bureau disclose the public the detailed information related to 5,000,000 registered trademarks’ registration fee, objection fee, defense of objection fee, three years withdrawal fee, invalidation of trademarks fee and their whereabouts. My proposal is based on “The People’s Republic of China’s Regulations on Government Disclosure of Information”. If the money has been turned over to the State Treasury, have any institutions kept some of the money as their commission? In 2016, there were 1,200,000 trademark registration applications, the fee for each was 300 yuan (2017 fee scale) not including fee for objection, for defense of objection. The figure must be stunning. Based on the same regulations,松峰莉璃 I also want to propose that NTB make it known to the public whether the checking and auditing of trademark registration applications are conducted by regular employees of National Trademark Bureau, or by some irresponsible dispatched staff of some outsourcing. In light of its legal nature, if NTRB seeks to outsource its verification and auditing of trademark registration, will the responsible person of NTB be considered as guilty of power abuse and negligence?

On March 1, 2017, the Supreme People’s Court hacked a hard punch against the intellectual property infringement; when the creator of renowned characters as a litigant claims for entitlement to the characters原梓菲 , he will get support from the Supreme People’s Court. A breakthrough in China’s intellectual property protection!
Recent years, a lot of readers and journalists asked me about a “Pipilu” restaurant. Some reader complained to me about the hair in the food. The owner of the mentioned restaurant viciously registered No. 3302660 Trademark Pipilu on April 6, 2004. Yet In 2004, the circulation of the books and magazines of /about/related to Pipilu reached two hundred million copies already. Could it be possible that the auditor had no idea who Pipilu is? In the same year when my son Zheng Yaqi applied for license for Pipilu Books Bookstore, he was rejected by an executive of a commercial and industry administrative office. As soon as the executive saw the three Chinese characters Pi Pi Lu华福雄 , he told Zheng Yaqi immediately that the three characters could not be used to name his bookstore, because “Pipilu is Zheng Yuanjie’s famous character”. Yaqi told him, “I am Zheng Yuanjie’s son.” That didn’t work. Zheng Yaqi was asked to have me范家璐 , his father, to come to the administrative office, and write an authorization letter in their presence. So I went to the administrative office, where the staff identified me as the right person, and I did as I was told to. Zheng Yaqi, got the license for Pipilu Bookstore. There were only 38 days between the restaurant owner’s application and Zheng Yaqi’s, both for the same brand, yet the performances of the same institution were so contradictory on the two occasions. Couldn’t they follow the rule of consistency when handle and audit the application of the same brand?

Although the industrial and commercial office in Beijing insisted that I be present and be identified as Pipilu’s IP owner when Zheng Yaqi applied for the license of Pipilu Bookstore, I have not taken it as an offense. On the contrary, I feel encouraged, as my IP rights have been protected in the application.
On February 23 this year, I submitted a plea of invalidating no. 3302660 Pipilu’s brand. Hearing this, the reporter of “National Intellectual Property Journal” under National Intellectual Property Bureau rushed to the site and had an interview with me. It shows that intellectual property protection is becoming the focus of the public in our country.


Although the latest regulation by the Supreme Court stipulates that famous characters of literature works cannot be registered as trademarks by people other than the Intellectual Property owner himself, some might say that the law is not retroactive. Yet, in the case of the western food restaurant in Zhengzhou , the act of infringement on intellectual property right is still happening, so it is a current issue rather than a past one. Let us imagine a scenario like this, the inspection group of Discipline Inspection Committee investigated a corrupted official who had begun his corruption since 17th CPC National Congress and still did not stop taking bribes after the 18th CPC National Congress, could he get away with it by telling the officials of the inspection group, “ I started taking bribes when the 17th CPC National Congress was taking place not the 18th CPC National Congress. Your law is not retroactive while my criminal action is not retrospective”? No, He couldn’t get away with it because although the corruption had occurred during the 17th CPC National Congress, it did not stop when the 18th CPC National Congress was taking place! If the Pipilu Western Food Restaurant had stopped using Pipilu after the publishing and application of the new law on March 1st, I would not have begun my action of IP protection. But this restaurant is still using Pipilu as its brand, the violation of my IP right is still happening, the owner is committing an offense against the latest law, and the latest law applies.
I have great confidence in National trademark Bureau for declaring the invalidity of No 3302660 Pipilu’s brand. Trump, the American, has got his trademark back in China. Will Chinese writers like me get our own trademark back?
Recent years, some readers accused me of badly hurting their feelings by using Lu Xixi, the young female character in my fairy tales they like most, as a brand of cooked meat. Such accusation left me in bewilderment. After some investigation, I found out that a food manufacturer dealing cooked meat registered No 10409714 LuXixi brand. The manufacturer had gone too far by taking advantage of homophone of “Lu” to get a free ride of a famous literary character. Don’t they know that consumers put commercial integrity and honesty of a business above everything else? I planned to submit my plea for invalidation of No 10409714 Trademark Luxixi on 25th this month.




A company in Xinjiang viciously had preemptive registration of Trademark Shuke, I claim for my IP right. This company retorted that there is a city named Tumushuke , therefore they are entitled to the trademark. Yet Tumushuke in Xinjiang used to be named as Tumuxiuke. In 2002, the City was changed to the present name. Shuke, the character I created, had its debut in my fairy tales in 1982. In trademark registration, shouldn’t we follow the principle of “first to be well- known?”
Now let’s come to trade names. Trade names are the names of companies. In China, 182 companies bear the names of Pipilu家有四千金 , Luxixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke. I always come across friends who would ask, “have you set up a company dealing in electronic business in Guangdong? I said no. Other friends would ask me if I had set up a company named Xi Zang Pipilu Venture Capital Investment and Management Corporation in Xizang. Still others would ask if I had set up an internet business in Rizhao of Shan Dong Province. There were also some friends who would ask if I had a Luxixi restaurant in Cheng Du, or “have you set up a company named Hulunbuir Shuke General Aviation Company here in our place?” Friend from Jiangsu Province said to me, “you have set up a Suzhou Beita Restaurant Management Company again in Jiangsu?” There is a “Yantai Shuke Beita Food Company”张谒之 , and also a “Luoke (Beijing) Garments Company”… None of the 182 companies named after my literary characters has got my authorization. This is unfair competition. It will cause confusion among my readers and their customers.

Fighting against trade name infringement cannot yet get legal support as the “Law of Fighting against Unfair Competition” is still being revised and updated. The revised draft will be submitted to the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress for approval. For Intellectual property protection, I suggest that the following clause be added: “without the intellectual Property owner’s authorization, no one can use renowned literary characters as the trade names of his/her firms.
So many companies have used my literary characters as their trade names. Some attribute this to the “immense influence” my literary works and the popularity of my characters. I don’t know if there are hundreds of Disney companies in the U.S. or hundreds of Harry Potter companies in the U.K.
In recent years, China has made big strides in IP protection, with trademarks and trade names left far behind. Trademark and trade names come under State Administration for Industry & Commerce.
On April 28th, I was invited to National Trademark Bureau to give my opinions and suggestion on how to protect writers’ ownership of his characters’ names and of his intellectual property. The party secretary of National Trademark Bureau Mr. Cui Shoudong expressed his thankfulness to me for my involvement in the innovation and reformation of trademark registration. He indicated that National Trademark Bureau will probe into all kinds of issues. With the determination to overcome difficulties through reform, NTB will work out the effective and efficient solution to the problems that have drawn the attention of the public.

I believe the State Administration for Industry & Commerce will take effective measures to prevent vicious preemptive trademark registration and trade name infringements, thus protect writers’ intellectual property and preserve their enthusiasm for creative writing. Neither trade marks nor trade names will become writers “dread marks” or “dread names” in our country.
Strength in culture makes a nation a great one. Our country’s cultural strength is ensured by our great respect for intellectual property and our sufficient protection of creators’ intellectual property rights.


中文版郑渊洁在中国(深圳)国际文化博览会上的演讲《商标不应该成为原创者的伤标 商号不应该成为原创者的伤号》
郑渊洁在2017中国知识产权保护高峰论坛的演讲《原创七宗罪》中文版
郑渊洁在2017中国知识产权保护高峰论坛的演讲《原创七宗罪》英文版(上)
郑渊洁在2017中国知识产权保护高峰论坛的演讲《原创七宗罪》英文版(下)
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