Sat, Jul 19, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Stroke of the brush lands Dow Jones in lawsuit in China


A calligrapher is suing the company that publishes The Wall Street Journal over its use of one of his Chinese characters as its corporate logo in China.

Guan Dongsheng drew the character at the request of Dow Jones & Co employees as part of a gift to the company's chairman in 1994. But Guan, a university professor, says he retains the rights to use the character and is asking for 5 million yuan (US$600,000) and an admission of wrongdoing, his lawyer said Thursday.

Dow Jones said in a statement that it had tried to settle the dispute over use of Guan's character "dao," which sounds like Dow.

A one-day trial was held Wed-nesday in the Beijing No. 1 People's Court but no verdict was immediately announced, said Guan's lawyer, Tang Zhaozhi.

Tang said Guan had rejected a settlement offer of US$40,000.

"The purpose of the lawsuit is not really for the compensation," Tang said. "The lawsuit was filed because Dow Jones used Mr. Guan's calligraphy without his permission."

Guan's character is used by Dow Jones on its Web site, advertising and business cards in China. According to state media, Dow Jones has said Guan gave permission to use the character as its logo.

He drew it as part of a Chinese saying presented to company chairman Peter Kann during a visit to Beijing -- "All gentlemen love wealth, but only if gotten through noble ways." The "dao" character in that sentence means "noble way."

"We have always sought an early resolution of this matter with Mr. Guan Dongsheng regarding the use of his `dao' calligraphy in our corporate identity,'' the Dow Jones statement said.

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