Bruce Lee's daughter sues Chinese fast-food chain for using late kung fu master's image

Real Kungfu, which sells rice bowls with Chinese dishes, was founded in 1990 and has outlets in more than 57 Chinese cities.
Image: People walk past the restaurant Real Kung Fu, or Zhen Gongfu in Mandarin, run by fast food chain Kungfu Catering Management, in Beijing
People walk past the restaurant Real Kungfu run by fast-food chain Kungfu Catering Management, in Beijing.Noel Celis / AFP - Getty Images

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By Reuters

SHANGHAI — A firm run by the daughter of Bruce Lee has sued a Chinese fast-food chain for using the late kung fu star's image in its logo without permission and is seeking over 210 million yuan ($30 million) in compensation, Chinese media outlet The Paper reported.

California-based Bruce Lee Enterprises, whose head is Shannon Lee, filed the case against the Real Kungfu chain in a Shanghai court Wednesday, requesting that the food firm stop using the image and pay an additional 88,000 yuan to cover legal expenses.

It also asked that the Guangzhou-based chain issue clarifications for 90 days to say that it has nothing to do with Bruce Lee. Real Kungfu, which sells rice bowls with Chinese dishes, was founded in 1990 and has outlets in over 57 Chinese cities.

Its logo is of a man dressed in a yellow long-sleeved top whose looks and stance are similar to Bruce Lee and his famed "ready to strike" pose.

Real Kungfu on its Weibo account on Thursday said it was "puzzled" by the lawsuit as it had used that logo for the last 15 years. It said that while there had been some issues in the past, its use of the logo was approved by national authorities.

The filing of the case comes as China has pledged to improve protection for intellectual property rights and apply stiffer penalties, one of the key topics in Beijing's trade dispute with the United States.