Tuesday, May 16, 2006

O My, China Is Counterfeiting Bishops

After China appointed a panchen lama in 1995, it recently ordained two bishops, unauthorised by the respective religious leaders; the dalai lama and the pope, or so to say, the right holders. If for example the religious figure of a bishop could be protected by some intellectual property law, what kind of intellectual property law would apply? Even if you consider the post of bishop as original and with the stamp of the creator, its copyright would already long time be expired. If you think the bishop is a catholic invention and you want to patent it, it would not work; the novelty requirement would prevent it, as the invention would already have been prior art for centuries. However, you might regard a bishop as a brand, that could be protected by trademark and be renewed for eternity. The reason why the atheist Chinese Communist Party is de facto placing itself on the holy see to ordain as they please is the same reason why the Vatican wants to have this exclusive right: to keep fully centralised control. The advice for CCP and Vatican would be the same; get a trademark. On second thought, these brands are probably well-known brands by now. And China, why stop there? Why not appoint ambassadors to China of every country? They could all live in Windows of the World in Shenzhen. Its slogan: "give me a day and we will show you a splendid world."

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