GMAC Wins Copyright Judgment in China

In a rare decision for the Chinese legal system, in September 2003, the Beijing Number One Intermediate People's Court judged in favor of the Graduate Management Admission Council® and Educational Testing Service® in a copyright and trademark infringement case against the New Oriental Education Group, a company well known in China for providing test preparation services and materials.

The court found the New Oriental Education Group guilty of violating trademarks and copyrights concerning the TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT® tests by publishing copyright-protected test questions in its test-preparation books (all GMAT® items in question were no longer used in the test). The company, China's largest private English-language training institute, was ordered to hand over all illegal copies of ETS and GMAC® materials, publish an apology, and pay approximately U.S. $1.2 million in compensation. GMAC® and ETS originally brought the suit in January 2001, seeking approximately U.S. $3.63 million.

Xinhua General News Service of China reported that since it opened in 1993, New Oriental Education Group has established schools in 12 major Chinese cities and in Toronto, Canada, and that it trains more than half the Chinese students going abroad to study, for a total of more than 400,000 students annually.

In a statement released to the Asian media the day of the judgment, GMAC® President David A. Wilson commended the court for its decision.

"Global organizations rely on internationally accepted standards for protection of copyrights and trademarks. This ruling should give international companies more confidence about operating in China and having their significant intellectual property rights recognized and enforced by the Chinese courts."

The New Oriental Education Group is now appealing the decision.

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