AmorePacific triumphs in case against Chinese Sulwhasoo counterfeit

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

AmorePacific triumphs in case against Chinese Sulwhasoo counterfeit
South Korea’s cosmetics giant AmorePacific has won its lawsuit against Shanghai Weierya for infringing on the trademark of the company’s Sulwhasoo brand.

The Pudong New Area People’s Court ordered the Shanghai Weierya to pay 500,000 yuan ($74,000) in reparations to AmorePacific, and an additional 47,000 yuan ($6,900) as a settlement.

The Chinese company had been producing and selling Sulansoo skincare products, which shared a similar logo and packaging with AmorePacific’s best-selling luxury brand.

The ruling is a welcomed news for AmorePacific, considering it lost a three-year long cushion compact patent case​ earlier in June.

The final ruling

After discovering the existence of Shanghai Weierya’s products, AmorePacific sued the company in 2015. After the court ruled in AmorePacific’s favour, the Chinese company made an appeal.

This time the ruling was final.

The judge said that the similar sounding English name and the fact that the Mandarin names only differed by one character made it potentially confusing for consumers.

“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,” ​reasoned the judge.

"If the quality of the defendant's product is problematic,” ​he continued, “It will have a negative impact on the plaintiff's reputation. Also, the alleged infringement will result in after-sales confusion.”

Counterfeit crackdown

China has proven to be a double-edged sword for AmorePacific. While it is a huge market for the cosmetics conglomerate, it is also a breeding ground for imitations and fakes of their hugely popular South Korean cosmetics.

Last year, the company won another lawsuit in China against a Chinese e-commerce company for duplicating the official Laneige website in order to sell Laneige products online at a highly discounted rate.

"We will continue to monitor Chinese companies to determine if they are counterfeiting our products,"​ commented an AmorePacific official.

With surging demand for South Korean cosmetics, AmorePacific is not the only one with a target on its back.

LG Household & Health Care is also facing a similar situation with Soorunkor, a Chinese brand which closely resembles their Sooryehan brand in terms of packaging and labelling.

It is not known if the company has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the owners of Soorunkor.

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