The launch of the popular Summer Night Market in Richmond this Thursday is being overshadowed by a court battle slated to begin tomorrow that may shut it down.

Lions Communications, organizer of the market, and its president, Paul Cheung, are being sued in federal court by Target Event Production for alleged copyright infringement.

Target operated the original Richmond Night Market from 2000 to 2007.

According to Target’s president, Raymond Cheung, who is not related to Paul Cheung, allegations include “using the name Richmond Night Market, Summer Night Market and variations of them in English and Chinese.”

“We are seeking damages, but also an injunction for their event,” Raymond Cheung said in an interview with Metro. “In the past year, a lot of people are confused. They think it is the Richmond Night Market, which is incorrect.”

Raymond Cheung added that he plans to relaunch his Night Market at a location in Richmond this July.

Target Event was forced to close the successful market in 2007 after being unable to renew a lease for the site, located near the Fraser River at 12631 Vulcan Way.

The site is now leased by Lions Communications, which counts area businessmen James Ho and Alvin Au among its shareholders.

Raymond Cheung recently received trademark certification, dated April 24, for the name Richmond Night Market.

“It took us one year to get this registration but it has finally been established that Target Event is the creator and the sole owner of Richmond Night Market,” Raymond Cheung said in a statement.

The original Night Market
The original Night Market became a major entertainment destination, attracting up to 30,000 visitors on many nights, and was the subject of glowing writeups in U.S. media outlets such as the Boston Globe and the Seattle Times.