Bruce Lee's daughter sues a fast-food resto for using father's figureBruce Lee Enterprise, a Bruce Lee’s family-run company, is suing a Chinese fast-food chain for using Bruce Lee’s image without permission. Bruce Lee Enterprise, headquartered in Los Angeles, is responsible for licensing and merchandising Bruce Lee’s image to keep him “alive”.
The daughter of Bruce Lee and the CEO of Bruce Lee Enterprise, Shannon Lee, filed a lawsuit against Guangzhou-based restaurant chain, Real Kungfu (Zhen Gongfu) for using the image of the late Hong Kong - American martial artist/actor for 15 years. Lee said that the restaurant did not pay for intellectual property rights.
The figure resembles a dark-haired martial artist in a yellow jumpsuit, striking a Bruce Lee-like pose.
Shannon Lee, having taken over the CEO position from her mother, demanded the restaurant chain to stop using the image and published an official apology in major newspapers for consecutive 90 days. Furthermore, to compensate for intellectual property rights, Lee demanded US$30 million and US$12,600 for attorney fees.
The lawsuit had been submitted to Shanghai’s No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, but a court session has yet to be held.
On Thursday, Real Kungfu then responded on China-owned social media platform, Weibo. The restaurant chain said that the logo had been authorized by the Trademark Office of China's National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).
Furthermore, Real Kungfu is curious why the action is taken after 15 years of its operations. The restaurant was founded in 1990; it has been using the logo since 2004.
Known for its traditional rice bowl with traditional Chinese delicacies, Real Kungfu was listed in 2014 as the eighth most popular fast-food restaurant in China. The owner revealed that Real Kungfu has 602 branches nationwide and total asset value of over US$715 million.