If Kwai Chang Caine is your image of a Shaolin Monk, you may have to do some rethinking.
Instead of fists and pole arms, the Shaolin of today fight like everyone else: with lawyers!
Being a bit of a gun for hire myself, I do find this very amusing. The China Songshan Shaolin Temple has been denied a trademark registration for "Shaolin Medicine".
As I've noted before, a trademark has to be attached to something - something in the marketplace - something you trade in.
So what did the monks call "Shaolin Medicine"? Noodles.
Well, and instant coffee, and a few other foods.
The monks began selling their foods with the name "Shaolin Medicine" back in 2004 and at that time applied for a trademark with the Chinese bureau that handles such matters. A committee rejected the application and the monks filed a lawsuit against the commission. (hyaaa!)
Monday the court ruled against the monks (bam! Ancient martial arts are no match for modern court room techniques).
The commission found, and the court ultimately agreed, that the name would confuse buyers into thinking the food had some actual curative properties. You see, the monks have been peddling "medicine" (mostly herbal remedies, acupuncture and quackery) for 1500 years. Now they are getting into the noodle biz.
The Zen monks have been catching a lot of flack lately for their increased commercialism, but I'm sure they can easily deflect it with their super-human reflexes and acrobatic flips. (keya!)
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