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Licensing Law

Counterfeit Goods & China

China’s top court rules in favor of Christian Dior, overturning two rulings by lower courts and admonishing the local trademark office for rejecting an application by the French fashion house to register a perfume bottle trademark. The Trademark Review and Adjudication Board wrongly rejected a 2015 application by Dior to register a trademark of its teardrop-shaped J’adore perfume bottle.

MGA Entertainment (MGAE) is awarded $1.1 million against 81 counterfeiters sued by the toyco for fake L.O.L. Surprise! goods. The infringers had been selling fakes as recently as late last year on digital marketplaces Alibaba.com, Aliexpress.com, and DHGate.com.

After its win, MGAE additionally brings a new suit against TomTop.com, an ecommerce marketplace allegedly selling counterfeit L.O.L. Surprise! listings on its own website as well as via stores on eBay, Alibaba.com and Amazon.com.

Separately, MGAE is issued a patent covering the unique and original attributes of its L.O.L. Surprise! product, including the ball itself.

Over 60% of counterfeit goods in global trade originate from China, according to a 2016 report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.

For some consumers, buying counterfeit products can be a way to express anti-corporate ideology, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia‘s Okanagan campus conducted with researchers from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Design Institute.

In a series of interviews, young Chinese consumers considered a rejection of “hedonic consumption” as more ethical than purchasing real luxury goods. Buying fakes means spending less money on products, which, in turn, is the right thing to do. Researchers classified those who buy counterfeits into four types:

  1. Victim brand illiterates lack knowledge simply do not realize that their purchases are counterfeit.
  2. The larkers view counterfeit consumption as innocent enjoyment, and emphasize product quality and ability to fool others.
  3. Anti-corporate activists, on the other hand, see counterfeit consumption as a rebellious activity against large capitalist corporations.
  4. Finally, the status matchers believe that consuming counterfeit goods allows them to fulfill a sense of prestige, meet social standards, and increase self-confidence.
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