South Korean fashion labels unite to fight counterfeit products

To protect their designs and trademarks, dozens of South Korean fashion labels, including prominent brand thisisneverthat, have joined forces to form the Brand Intellectual Property Rights Protection Association. This partnership, which also involves online fashion retailer Musinsa, aims to address growing concerns about counterfeit products, especially those sourced from Chinese e-commerce platforms.

According to Korea Bizwire, the establishment of this non-profit organization, which was officially registered under the Ministry of SMEs and Startups last month, marks a collective effort among small and medium-sized fashion brands to combat trademark infringement. Leading the charge is Kim Hoon-do, CEO of fashion company GBGH, who has been appointed head of the association.

Increasing concerns about counterfeit goods

The proliferation of Chinese e-commerce giants like AliExpress and Temu has led to a significant increase in cheap counterfeit products that mimic the designs of South Korean fashion houses. This problem has not only affected domestic markets but has also been exacerbated by the easy access provided by cross-border e-commerce platforms.

In response to these challenges, the new association will focus on identifying and cracking down on the distribution of counterfeit goods that imitate the products of member companies.

A united front against trademark infringement

In cooperation with the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency’s “Counterfeit Product Distribution Prevention Council”, the association aims to work closely with patent offices, customs authorities and law firms in the field of intellectual property. This collaboration is expected to enhance the protection of members’ trademark rights, provide legal support in intellectual property disputes, and provide educational resources on intellectual property issues.

Korea Times noted that the association’s launch is timely and coincides with the establishment of the “Design Infringement Enforcement Support Unit” by South Korea’s Special Judicial Police for Technology Crime. This new unit focuses on industries severely affected by design violations, such as fashion and apparel.

A spokesperson for the association emphasized the importance of their mission, stating: “The appropriation of unique designs that embody the identity of fashion brands must be eradicated. Our association will lead the efforts to create a healthy environment which preserves the legitimate intellectual property rights and inherent value of fashion companies.” are duly protected and respected.”

This initiative marks a crucial step toward securing the creative integrity and financial health of South Korea’s fast-growing fashion industry.

Photo: Musinsa Newsroom