China, the biggest and fastest growing market has always been a place where international brands would like to set foot and introduce themselves to this foreign praising crowd.
Over the years many big international brands have already rooted themselves in the big cities of China, like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, yet some companies are hesitant despite all the attractive conditions. One of the major element that contributes to their worrying is the counterfeiting and plagiarizing problem. China is known to be the factory floor of the world, countless products are produced in China factories. While gaining the technology and designs they can easily create counterfeits and fakes copying the exact products.
A recent incident is a total reflection of this exact problem, the lawsuit case between the US sneaker company New Balance and the mainland company New Barlan. The mainland company New Barlan sued against the US New Balance company for illegal use of registered trademark “新百倫” the direct translation of New Balance in Chinese tone. The case was taken to the Guangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court of Guangdong Province, where the result was New Balance’s affiliates company in China was verdict to violation of using the trademark rights of others and was sentenced to a $98 million (RMB) penalty.
The case attracted attention throughout the world. As how is it possible that a counterfeit company such as New Barlan was able to win a lawsuit against the original brand. New Barlan not only copies the product design of the shoes, shoeboxes and the layout of the stores are nearly identical to the American brand. Furthermore, it even franchises its business, exporting shoes to New Balance's key markets such as Japan, which takes counterfeiting action to another level.
For Accutone we also have similar problems, as counterfeits and fakes are put on Amazon and other online platforms imitating Accutone earphones and selling it for a cheap price. While it is impossible to stop these actions, we have used different measures to block these products. For instance our old Taurus model was being counterfeited heavily, to counter we upgraded the earphone and add a MMCX feature production techniques that counterfeits will not be able to achieve.
Just within China there are countless similar cases happening , the Chinese government must figure a way to ensure international brands and cooperates that they are well protected. Reassuring their confidence to invest and root their company in China.
(Photo Credits: Jesús Dehesa)