Jay Chou sues Chinese restaurant for using his name & face without permission

However, the restaurant insisted that they got Chou's permission.

Mabel Wong | August 19, 2020, 06:16 PM

Mandopop star Jay Chou recently filed a lawsuit against a restaurant in China.

Chou-themed decor & marketing

According to Bandao, J Daxia Chinese Restaurant is a well-known restaurant among Chou's fans, many of whom assumed that it was owned by the singer himself.

However, its outlet in Xiamen, named Xiamen J Daxia, has been sued for infringing on Chou's name and portrait rights.

The outlet was described to be filled with many Chou-related decor including:

  • Pictures of him on the restaurant's electronic and television screens
  • Pictures of him on the restaurant's menu cover and title page
  • Pictures of him pasted as a wall decal
  • A full-length standee of him at the entrance of the restaurant

Photo from Bandao.

Photo from Bandao.

Photo from Bandao.

There were also claims on the internet that the restaurant was owned by Chou, which were said to mislead customers as a marketing gimmick.

Did not obtain Chou's permission

It was stated that the restaurant did not obtain legal authorisation from Chou to use his image and music in their store.

The restaurant was said to have used Chou's image and name for profit without his consent, causing him to suffer great economic losses.

As a result, they were asked to stop the infringement of copyright and to issue an apology to Chou.

They will also have to compensate 500,000 yuan (S$98,586) for economic losses.

Restaurant argued that they had permission

However, Xiamen J Daxia insisted that it had actually obtained rights to use Chou's portrait and name.

The restaurant released a statement on Weibo on Aug. 19 explaining its rights on using Chou's portrait and name for its decor and marketing.

A video that was also a part of the statement, shows Chou attending the opening ceremony of the restaurant's first outlet in 2015.

An authorisation certificate from Chou's studio was apparently issued, which gave J Daxia Chinese Restaurant the right to use the singer's portrait and name.

Authorisation certificate from Chou's studio. Photo from J大俠官博 | Weibo.

When J Daxia's Xiamen outlet opened in 2017, Chou had also sent a video congratulating the restaurant's opening.

The restaurant claimed that the video serves as proof that Chou was aware of the use of his portrait and name at the restaurant.

In January 2019, both J Daxia Chinese Restaurant and Xiamen J Daxia outlets were issued a lawyer's letter from an attorney representing Chou.

The letter stated that both outlets were infringing Chou's copyrights.

After correcting their actions, Xiamen J Daxia then received an email from Chou's attorney thanking them for rectifying the issue in April 2019.

Attorney's email of thanks. Photo from J大俠官博 | Weibo.

Here's a translation of the email:

"We have received the corrections your company has made to the situation. We're very happy that the company is abiding by the arrangement to stop infringement measures, and we want to express our gratitude."

However, later in December 2019, Xiamen J Daxia was formally sued by Chou for infringing on his portrait and name rights.

The restaurant pointed out that the material evidence used to sue the store were pictures that were taken before the restaurant knew of the withdrawn authorisation.

The restaurant ended off the statement by assuring customers that they did not deceive anyone, and hoped that netizens will not spread rumours without understanding the facts of the case.

The case is currently undergoing further trial.

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Top images from @jaychou | Instagram and Bandao.