FASHION LAW: BURBERRY FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST SOUTH KOREAN UNDERWEAR MANUFACTURER
British luxury fashion house, Burberry has been known to bring down perpetrators for decades against their distinctive tartan pattern, renowned as one of the world’s most widely copied trademarks. Recently, Burberry has filed a patent violation suit against a Korean underwear manufacturer, Ssangbangwool also known as, “SBW”, over coping the brand’s trademark check pattern. Burberry filed the suit with a Seoul Central District court, seeking a hefty compensation from the culprits. Burberry is filing for an estimated – 100 million Won, or 56,488 pounds in compensation.
A spokeswoman from Burberry told Drapers: “As a global luxury brand, Burberry considers the protection of its trademarks vital to the health of its business and brand. Burberry protects both its brand and its customers by defending its intellectual property rights and will always act against the abuse of its trademarks.”
Burberry has engaged South Korean in over 10 civil lawsuits since 2011, over the check pattern and inevitably won all cases. For this certain case, it was filed against SBW’s “Try underwear”, which is said to have adopted the trademarked check pattern. Burberry is not only demanding for a heavy reimbursement for the illegal trademark infringement but also, for the items to be pulled from the market immediately.
According to the Korea Herald, Burberry Korean issued a warning against SBW for infringing its trademark rights in early January when the company sold a range of men’s boxers with the check patterns under the brand, TRY. When the products continued to be sold in its online marketplace, Burberry filed suit. The mega fashion brand has held a trademark right for its iconic check pattern at the Korean Intellectual Property Office since ’98. With such a favored trademark, this won’t be the last tide of counterfeits for the brand to come across in Asia. The Korean manufacturer, SBW has responded to the lawsuit and chosen to take countermeasures against Burberry. “We will consider what actions to take after seeing the reasons for the complaint (from Burberry),” said the South Korean company to Yonhap news agency. “We have already replied to Burberry of our decision, after consulting with our legal agent.” Burberry was deemed as the fourth most frequently counterfeited brand. Following suit after Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci, according to a customs service report just last year.