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Company Seeks 'Snowden' Trademark

A Chinese company has applied to register “Snowden” as a trademark for innovative electric car technology that it claims is as dramatic as U.S. intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden’s leaked secrets, the South China Morning Post reported.

Electric car technology firm Hong Yuan Lan Xiang (HYLX) submitted an application Thursday to the Chinese authorities to register the “Snowden” trademark in both Chinese and English, company manager Zhu Hefeng told the newspaper on Friday.

“We are talking with China’s domestic carmakers, and we aim to launch cars equipped with our technology by the end of this year,” Zhu said. The company’s secret technologies and products “range from newly-developed removable batteries, conversion of traditional cars into electric cars and fast charging methods,” he said.

It could take up to 15 months for the application to be approved according to Chinese law, trademark expert Wang Hao told the paper. Experts believe the application is unlikely to be granted as the name might be deemed too “political” by the Chinese government.

HYLX is not the first company that has attempted to register “Snowden” as a trademark in China. In 2010, a Chinese clothes manufacturer registered the Chinese characters for “Snowden” for their products, the paper said, and several other companies have also registered the English trademark “Snowden” for other products in China.

Under Chinese law, a trademark can be used by more than one company in different product “categories,” the paper says. Snowden, who is currently a resident in Russia after being granted temporary asylum, is wanted in the U.S. on espionage and theft charges after leaking classified information in May 2013 about the U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs .

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