Beijing Court Upholds Copyright Protection for GMAT Exam

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court has upheld the right of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to protect its copyrights in the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) from infringement in China. The GMAT exam is used by more than 4,700 graduate business programmes in almost 2,000 schools around the world as a critical part of the admission process. 

GMAC sued Beijing Passion Consultancy Ltd. for providing copyrighted GMAT materials to test takers for a fee, including reconstructed live questions and questions from GMAT Prep materials, with much of the infringing activity on Passion's website. GMAC detected Passion's illegal practices by using its patent pending "ItemFind" software as well as other GMAC-developed internet-based technologies. 

Following a review of GMAC's evidence and an audit of Passion's activities related to the GMAT, the Court and Presiding Judge Yi Jun, supervised a mediation and settlement. The Mediation Statement entered by the Court on November 23 requires Passion to "cease all infringing activities immediately," to place a public apology in a nationally distributed newspaper, and to post on its website a warning from GMAC to students about the consequences of unethical behavior. Passion will also pay GMAC RMB 520,000 in compensation. 

The Mediation Statement recognizes GMAC's copyrights in GMAT test questions and related publications and notes that Passion distributed GMAT materials without GMAC's permission in its "VIP training courses" and through downloads from its website. 

"The Court's actions send a strong message about the seriousness of cheating and the potential consequences - including cancellation of GMAT scores - for those who are caught cheating," said GMAC President and CEO David A. Wilson. "We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the GMAT and the admission process, and we will do all we can - through technology and the legal process - to prevent, detect, report, and deter copyright infringement and other unethical behavior."

Attorneys Zhou Qiang of ZY Partners in Beijing, and Robert Burgoyne of Fulbright & Jaworski in Washington, D.C., who represented GMAC, noted that this was one of the first lawsuits in China to confront internet-based copyright infringement, and the first such lawsuit against a test preparation program. The Chinese government has identified internet-based copyright infringement as an area of concern in its Action Plan on IPR Protection.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (www.gmac.com) is an association of leading graduate business schools around the world and owner of the GMAT exam. It is based in McLean, Virginia, with a European office in London. More information about the GMAT, which is the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide, is available at www.mba.com.

SOURCE: Graduate Management Admission Council

Web site: http://www.gmac.com/