A Shanghai court recently conducted a hearing on the lawsuit against several locations of the Chinese fast-food chain Real Kungfu for infringement of Bruce Lee’s image.
Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC, headed by Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee, filed the lawsuit in 2019 demanding that Real Kungfu immediately stop using the image of her father and pay compensation of 210 million yuan (about $30.56 million).
Personality RightsBruce Lee became an icon of martial arts after starring in numerous movies. He was the first ever Asian-American actor in a Hollywood lead role.
In China, Lee’s company has nearly 60 trademark registrations associated with Bruce Lee, the Chinese media reported.
Chinese Fast Food ChainThe news went viral on the Chinese social media Weibo, many netizens said they had the impression that the restaurant was authorized to use Lee’s image.
The restaurant never admitted the image on the logo was of Bruce Lee; but the pattern and colors are consistent with Lee’s classic martial arts gesture in his last film, Game of Death.
The official website of the restaurant claims its long-term goal is to reach an annual operating income of over $21.83 billion with a total of 20,000 chain stores worldwide by 2030. It aims to keep pace with McDonald’s and KFC globally, becoming the world’s No. 1 brand of Chinese fast food.