AmorePacific wins suit against Chinese copycat

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AmorePacific recently won a lawsuit in China against a Chinese cosmetics maker that allegedly counterfeited the Korean cosmetics maker’s Sulwhasoo luxury skincare brand.

The ruling was the final judgment on the case.

According to AmorePacific, Thursday, the Pudong New Area People’s Court of Shanghai ordered Shanghai Weierya earlier this month to pay 500,000 yuan ($74,000) to the Korean company for financial losses and an additional 47,000 yuan as settlement money.

The Chinese firm has produced and sold its own cosmetics under the brand name of Sulansoo. It even wrote Sulwhasoo in Korean on the imitation’s packages.

The judge said the English trademark of Sulansoo confuses consumers, because it is the same as that of Sulwhasoo in its first three and last three letters.

“Considering the popularity of the plaintiff’s products, the use of the logo on the defendant’s product that is similar to the plaintiff’s may lead consumers to believe there is a certain relationship between the two parties,” the judge said.

“If the quality of the defendant’s product is problematic, it will have a negative impact on the plaintiff’s reputation. Also, the alleged infringement will result in after-sales confusion.”

AmorePacific sued Shanghai Weierya in April 2015, after discovering the imitation of Sulwhasoo at a wholesale market in Yantai. The lower court ruled in favor of the Korean firm last September, but the Chinese firm appealed to the court.

Last November, AmorePacific also won a lawsuit in China against a Chinese e-commerce firm that allegedly counterfeited the official website of the Laneige brand and sold Laneige cosmetics for lower prices online.

“We will continue to monitor Chinese companies to determine if they are counterfeiting our products,” an AmorePacific official said.

Korean cosmetics have been a target on the black market in line with the K-beauty fever in recent years.

In the 2016 China Beauty Expo held in Shanghai, a Chinese company officially showcased the Soorunkor brand, which is regarded as a fake product lineup imitating LG Household & Health Care’s Sooryehan brand.

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