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Bruce Lee heir hits China fast food chain with US$30 million suit

People walk past the restaurant Real Kung Fu, or Zhen Gongfu in Mandarin, run by fast food chain Kungfu Catering Management, in Beijing on December 26, 2019. (PHOTO: Noel Celis /AFP via Getty Images)

By Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- Bruce Lee’s daughter struck back in a Chinese court at a popular fast-food chain for misappropriating the kung fu superstar’s image.

Bruce Lee Enterprises, whose legal representative is Shannon Lee, is seeking 210 million yuan (US$30 million) in damages and 88,000 yuan in legal expenses from the Real Kungfu chain, Jiemian reported Thursday, in a case that could also test the Chinese government’s pledge to protect intellectual property rights.

A court in Shanghai accepted the suit in early December against Guangzhou Real Kungfu Catering Management Co. and two other related companies for portrait right infringement, state-run Xinhua reported. Shannon Lee is also asking the chain, called “Zhen Gongfu” in China and known for steaming its food, to immediately stop using her father’s image and to clarify for 90 days that it has nothing to do with the martial arts legend, according to Jiemian.

Real Kungfu said in a statement posted on its official Weibo account that it’s “baffled” by the lawsuit since it has been using the logo since 2004 and is preparing to respond. The image is that of a dark-haired man wearing a yellow jumpsuit in a kung fu pose who looks like Bruce Lee.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.