Despite the Record-Making CNY 1, 000, 000 Compensation for Yao Ming, Infringer Did Not Lose the Lawsuit

Among the Ten IPR Cases issued by the Supreme People’s Court in 2012, one of the more interesting ones involves a case of portrait infringement involving international basketball star Yao Ming’s likeness. Despite the court’s understanding that infringement had been found for the unlicensed use of Yao’s portrait and name, granting compensation as high as RMB 1 million Yuan, such an amount is far less than Yao’s typical payment for participating in ads and other marketing materials. For this reason, the court’s decision to grant such an amount is simply inadequate to prevent further acts of infringement involving a well-known person’s name and likeness.