The FA Premier League has won a trademark dispute in China that secures exclusive use of its crowned lion logo in the country.
The victory is a sign that China, which is believed to be the source of 70 per cent of the world’s pirated goods, is increasingly willing to prosecute on intellectual property rights (IPR) violations and brand piracy.
China promised a crackdown when it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, but progress initially was slow.
In April, pressure from the United States, which claims that copycatting in China costs American groups $250 billion (£128 billion) a year, pushed China’s State Council to publish a plan designed to improve IPR enforcement over the next two years.
Su Xiaoman, a lawyer for the Premier League, welcomed the verdict, telling the state-run China Daily newspaper. “The Chinese Government has done much to protect the IPR of foreign firms operating in the country in recent years.”