Descendants of official upset at use of his image

Updated: 2011-08-19 14:06

(China Daily)

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The descendants of a senior official in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) are contending that the coffee chain Starbucks has abused his image and are asking the company to show more respect.

Historians hold the official, Bao Zheng, in high esteem for his strictness in upholding justice and opposing corruption.

Starbucks opened its first coffee shop in Hefei, the birthplace of Bao and the capital of Anhui province, on Aug 7 and began selling cups displaying Bao's image, which his descendants complained was distorted.

"A trademark on Bao Zheng's image was registered in April and Starbucks should not use the image without our agreement," said Bao Xun'an, a 36th-generation descendant of Bao and head of an association that studies and promotes the sort of integrity that Bao had displayed.

"What a difference!" said Bao Zhunzhang, 85, another of Bao's descendants. "How could Bao have a foreigner's face?"

Huang Min, a lawyer in Hefei, said Starbucks is suspected of violating intellectual property rights, since there is a registered trademark of Bao Zheng's image.

(Jianghuai Morning News)