Central News Agency
2013-12-24 07:38 PM
The "Happy Duck" and "Fortune Duck" products will be taken off store shelves Wednesday, said Jerry Fan, who was replaced just before the display kicked off Dec. 21 for suspected copyright infringements. Reading from a prepared statement, Fan said at a press conference that he and his advertising company never used Hofman's name in the sale of the two products, which were designed by Fan's company.
The allegation that his company claimed the products had been authorized by Hofman was "a misunderstanding on the part of Mr. Hofman and his team and also a big misunderstanding of Taiwan's efforts in the protection of intellectual property rights," Fan said.
He said the two products were approved by Taiwan's Intellectual Property Office, he added.
Also bright yellow in color with a red beak, Fan's "Happy Duck" wears a Santa hat and a red and white scarf, while "Fortune Duck" has a feather sticking up from its head.
Fan's announcement came a day after the chief organizer of the event sent him a letter, warning him to recall the products or face possible legal consequences.
Fan and his team's behavior "must stop at once, or they will have to shoulder responsibility for any consequences," Huang Ching-tai, the speaker of the Keeling City council, said in the letter.
Replicas of the Dutch artist's Rubber Duck are the only authorized merchandise allowed to be sold at Balloon Art Pavilion in the harbor area, Huang said.
Fan and his team had been hired to plan, promote and handle activities related to the Rubber Duck display in Keelung Harbor but were replaced after it was found that they were selling unauthorized merchandise at the pavilion.
A company selling Rubber Duck-themed stored value cards recalled its products after the controversy broke out late last week.
In a show of displeasure, Hofman did not attend the opening of the 50-day display and Huang apologized Sunday over the controversy. At the press conference on Christmas eve, Fan said he hoped Hofman would come to Keelung on Feb. 8, the last day of the Rubber Duck display.
"The Rubber Duck and Christmas both symbolize peace and joy," Fan said. "I would like to wish Mr. Hofman a merry Christmas and hope that on this day there is a chance for the conflict between us to improve." (By Lin Hong-han and Jay Chen)