Lego wins first China copyright case against imitators

A court ruled that two Chinese companies selling plastic blocks had infringed copyright, Lego said. (AP)
Updated 08 December 2017
0

Lego wins first China copyright case against imitators

HONG KONG: Danish toy maker Lego said Thursday it has won a major legal victory in China, where a court ruled in its favor in a copyright case against companies making knockoffs of its famous colored bricks.
The company said it was the first time it has won an unfair competition case against imitators in China.
It said the Shantou Intermediate People’s Court ruled that two Chinese companies selling Bela brand blocks similar to the Lego Friends line infringed a copyright and ordered them to stop.
The court issued its ruling in September but the decision did not take effect until November.
Earlier this year, a Beijing court ruled that Lego’s name and logo are well-known trademarks in China, giving the company stronger legal footing for pursuing copyright cases.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
0

Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.