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.