A fast food restaurant chain based in mainland China is facing a $30 million lawsuit filed by Shannon Lee, daughter of the late actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, who says the company profited off the unlawful use of her father’s image.
Bruce Lee Enterprises, headed by Shannon Lee, filed a lawsuit against Chinese fast food chain Real Kungfu, or Zhen Gong Fu in Chinese, in the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People’s Court on December 5, seeking $30 million (310 million yuan) in compensation for the chain’s logo.
Real Kungfu’s logo shows a man who resembles Bruce Lee in a pose that was popularized by the late actor in the 1972 film “Fist of Fury.”
The Guangzhou-based chain, which was founded in 1990 and has restaurants in more than 57 Chinese cities, appeared confused by the lawsuit and revealed on Chinese social media site Sina Weibo that its logo was registered and approved by the China Trademark Office and has been in use for approximately 15 years.
According to company statements observed by AFP, the chain has more than 600 stores across China and is estimated to be worth over $714,714,500 (5 billion yuan).
Lee’s company, based out of Los Angeles, California, is seeking another $12,580 (88,000 yuan) to cover legal fees, and has requested that Real Kungfu cease using Bruce Lee’s image and demanded it issue a public notice within 90 days which clarifies the actor and his estate have no affiliation with the chain.
This suit filed by Lee comes not long after she submitted another complaint with China’s National Film Administration in October over writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s portrayal of her father in his recent blockbuster “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Lee contended that her father was made out to be an “arrogant a*****e who was full of hot air” in the Golden Globe-nominated picture.