Korean authorities crack down on counterfeit facial masks

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Stock photo of Leaders Insolution's range
Stock photo of Leaders Insolution's range

Related tags: Counterfeit, Estée lauder

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has seized more than 100,000 counterfeit products of the well-known face mask brand; ‘Leaders Insolution’ from a Chinese-owned factory, close to the border of North Korea. 

According to KIPO, the packaging of masks were identical to the renowned Korean brand, but the formulation contained antiseptics that are "hazardous to the skin"​.

To date, the Korean authority reports the factory to have produced 260,600 masks with an estimated market value of US$720,000. More than 100,000 of those have already been exported to mainland China.

Counterfeit products are reported to be distributed through professional buyers, the individuals who take shopping requests from clients on personal social media pages and sell the products for less than retail.

KIPO says these sellers claim they have direct access to the manufacturers or wholesalers, which allows them to cut prices.

Since seizing these products, the authority has officially requested China's judicial authorities assist it in protecting the brand's reputation and prevent the bootleg masks from circulating in China.

Major players are taking counterfeiters to task 

A supplier of counterfeit MAC products; 'Get Your MAC On LLC' was recently ordered by a court to pay global luxury player Estée Lauder over $1.8 million.

The decision came last month after Estée Lauder filed the suit in March 2013, following litigation in Australia where the beauty player had taken retail giant, Target to court for stocking MAC knockoffs.

That case revealed that a Target supplier had received counterfeit goods from the 'Get Your MAC On' company, which began selling fake MAC products on its website in 2009.

While Target maintained its' innocence, the retailer made an offer to the international cosmetics giant after chemical testing revealed that the products it was stocking were counterfeit.

Following this suit, Estée Lauder then took action against 'Get Your MAC On' for allegedly ignoring evidence of the fake products.

The complaint featured trademark counterfeiting and infringement, unfair competition, a federal false designation claim and use of counterfeit marks.

According to court documents, U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland declared that 'Get Your MAC On's' director Yvonne Vitale had ignored evidence that the products it was selling were knockoffs that caused $620,868 in damages to Estee Lauder.

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