(Reuters) – China’s Olympic Committee (COC) said it will protect its athletes from the unlawful registration of their names as trademarks, Xinhua news agency reported.
Several Chinese gold medallists from the Tokyo Games, including shooter Yang Qian, table tennis player Chen Meng and 14-year-old diver Quan Hongchan, saw their names illegally registered as trademarks in the alcohol, sportswear and tutoring industries, the report said.
Quan had at least 19 trademark applications related to her name in one week after the Olympics, the report said.
“The legitimate rights and interests of athletes must be respected,” the committee said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Any registration of athletes’ names as trademarks without the authorisation of athletes themselves or their guardians is forbidden. Any offenders must stop their action.
“The athletes and guardians of underage athletes have the rights to pursue the liability of relevant parties.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)