Chinese Animator Wins Copyright Battle With Nike

Chinese Internet cartoonist Zhu Zhiqiang has won a court battle against the U.S. footwear and apparel maker Nike Inc. over the company's use of his "Little Match Man" illustration, reports the ASSOCIATED PRESS. Zhu had sought $240,000 in compensation, but a Beijing court only granted him $36,000 in compensation and forced Nike to issue a public apology to Zhu, the CHINA DAILY newspaper said.

"I got what I wanted - confirmation on my copyright over my stickman," Zhu said.

Nikes lawyer Zhang Zaiping argued that the image was a common symbol not entitled to protection under copyright law.

"From mural and stone paintings in ancient times to Sherlock Holmes stories, the logo has been used repeatedly," Zhang said.

The stick figure logo for Nike's "Creativity in Sports" campaign was designed by an American advertising company in 2002 for $3 million.

Nike plans to appeal the ruling, the paper said.

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