October 20, 2011 13:53
Korea is both a boon to luxury labels and a thorn in their side, because while they can sell their goods here at inflated prices, they also have to contend with sophisticated fakes. Brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Ferragamo operate a dedicated task force based in Korea to tackle copies and sue producers of knockoffs or fakes.
Their work is especially difficult because the quality of fakes made here is so high that it is often hard to tell them from the genuine article. This year, Louis Vuitton set up a legal team solely in charge of dealing with knockoffs in Korea. "Korea makes very sophisticated knockoffs with a high level of workmanship, so we need to be very watchful," a staffer said.
And an Hermes staffer said, "The number of fakes in Korea is much smaller than in China, but we're keeping an eye on Korea because even experts often find it hard to tell the difference between fakes and the genuine article. We respond to this by launching lawsuits every time we detect an infringement of our trademark." Ferragamo, meanwhile, also monitors breach of trademark rights through a Korean law firm.
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