Beijing 2008 Emblem: Beyond All Controversies

By Mash Bonigala

The closer the date is approaching, the hotter it’s becoming. Yes we are talking of the next Olympic that is going to take place in the ancient walled city of Beijing in 2008. Olympics you spell the name and it suggests grandeur and magnificence. Literally the biggest show on the earth the Olympics is traditionally viewed as the most admired platform of universal fraternity.

But a modern connotation of Olympics is much different from its traditional image.
World of sports today is dominated by corporate sponsorship, the world as a whole is under the constant scrutiny of media glare, and as such Olympics in the new millennium has become more the platform of showing off corporate pomp and glamour.

Let the date and venue of the next Olympic be announced and the corporate alacrity surrounding the entire event is worth watching. Thus the preparation for the event starts years earlier and the grandeur we come to view in our television sets are the result of years of meticulous planning, preparations and trials.

All planning and preparation works are tied by one crucial factor and that is the Olympic logo. The corporate agreements and other official documents carry the specific Olympic logo created for the each show. So all the hypes surrounding Olympic logo is valid and quite justified.

Interestingly enough, all the Olympic logos have evoked some amount of criticisms and stirred up big or small controversies. The “Green Beijing Olympic Logo” is not an exception as such. Before going to the controversy right away, let’s just give a brief description of the 2008 Olympic logo:

The Dancing Beijing Logo

At a first glance it will seem to be too simple, especially when you know that the design was chosen from some 1800 design entries. The logo is composed of one Chinese character “jing” meaning capital and or in other words Beijing.

But on a closer scrutiny, you will discover a motion in the logo, as if showing a man running, jumping or dancing, which is in sync with the Olympic spirit of “Faster, Higher, and Stronger”. A red background has been used to bring out the prominence. This incorporation of Chinese character and the color red brings out the very Chinese flavor of the entire design.

The five Olympic rings are the routine affair, while the words “Beijing 2008” has been written in English but using ancient Chinese calligraphy style. The idea of a dancing person gives the entire logo a humane look and as such the 2008 Olympic logo becomes the true representation of Olympic spirit—-universal fraternity.

The controversy

Now coming to the controversy that started right with the unveiling of the logo! The entire issue amounts to the ownership of intellectual property rights. While Olympic Games has so far registered the logo trademark for using Dancing Beijing, another Chinese company has applied for the designing patent of a similar emblem, and rights to reproduce for commercial purposes.

What to do?

Presently IPR violation has become the hottest issue regarding the misuse of Olympic logo in China. Counterfeit mascots and coins bearing the 2008 Olympic logo are openly available in the market.

Zhao Gang, deputy head of the trademark department under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, ensured that China would take requisite steps to crack down on Olympic IPR infringements. The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) is helping put up a special IPR registration and management system. In addition to that, the committee has emphasized on promoting IPR education among the public. The role of the police in this respect is also going to be strengthened.