A court in Shanghai has ordered Chinese cosmetic company Shanghai Weierya to pay 500,000 yuan ($74,000) to the South Korean cosmetic giant AmorePacific for financial losses and an additional 47,000 yuan as settlement money after Shanghai Weierya allegedly counterfeited the Sulwhasoo luxury skincare brand.
The Chinese firm has produced and sold its own cosmetics under the brand name of Sulansoo. According to the Korea Times, Shanghai Weierya also printed Sulwhasoo in Korean (설화수) on its packaging.
The packaging design, as seen below, is remarkably similar as well.
The court said the English trademark of Sulansoo confuses consumers with the Sulwhasoo brand.
“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 was quoted as saying by the Korea Times.
“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. A lower court ruled in favor of AmorePacific last September, but the Shanghai Weierya appealed the case.
The is yet another instance where Chinese companies are infringing on South Korea’s largest cosmetic company. Last November, AmorePacific 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 at lower prices.
“We will continue to monitor Chinese companies to determine if they are counterfeiting our products,” an AmorePacific official said.