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Astro Boy Wins Copyright Suit in China

Recently, Beijing Higher People's Court made a final judgment to reject the appeal from Astro Boy Sports Company (AB Sports). The Court affirmed the judgment that AB Sports should cease the infringement immediately and pay Tezuca Co. 210,000 Yuan for economic losses and reasonable expenses. By then, the case of the copyright of "Astro Boy" was closed. 

The famous comic Astro Boy was created in 1951 by Japanese comic artist Tezuka Osamu. The copyright of Astro Boy was obtained by Tezuka Osamu's wife according to his testament in 1989, and was then assigned to Tezuka Co.. In 2006, Tezuca Co. registered Astro Boy's image in China.

Astro Boy Sports Company (AB Sports) was founded by Quanzhou Feike Sports Co., LTD. in 2000. Its main productions are children's shoes and clothes. AB Sports has No. 232855 trademark "Astro Boy and its image" registered in China by assignment, which was awarded as China's well-known trademark in 2008. AB Sports uses Astro Boy's image in its promotions, which are similar to the copyrighted work of Tezuca Co.

Tezuca Co. filed a law suit against AB Sports to Beijing No.2 Intermediate People's Court in early 2013, asking for the defendant to cease the infringement immediately.

The Court held that the copyright claimed by Tezuca Co. was in the jurisdiction of China as China and Japan were both members of the Berne Convention Copyright Treaty. AB Sports infringed Tezuca Co.'s rights of reproduction, distribution, communication through information network and remuneration, by using Astro Boy's image on its production and promotion without permission. According to this, the Court made the judgment mentioned above. AB Sports appealed to Beijing Higher People's Court, and was rejected. 

(Source: China IP News)

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