|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2002-09-29
The monks of the Shaolin Temple in China have set up a firm, Henan Shaolin Temple Industrial Development, to prevent "abusive use" of the Shaolin name. Made popular by Kung-Fu flicks and the Wu-Tang Clan, the monks are registering Shaolin and Shaolin Temple as trademarks with the Chinese government.
"It's unshirkable historical responsibility to protect & rejuvenate the culture of Shaolin," said Shi Yongxin, the abbot of Shaolin Temple.
In China, the China Trademark and Patent Affairs Agency says that more than 100 businesses, including auto dealers, food, medicine, furniture and liquor use a Shaolin trademark.
This isn't new territory for the monks. Six years ago the monks, who are vegetarians, won a lawsuit against a company that was using the Shaolin name to market canned hams.
The Shaolin Temple was built in 496 in the foothills on Mount Songshan and is considered the birthplace of kung-fu.