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South Korea fashion labels launch association to crack down counterfeits

07 June 2024

South Korea fashion labels launch association to crack down counterfeits

Photo: thisisneverthat® INTL,

Several South Korean fashion brands, such as thisisneverthat, have officially established a new association with the goal of combating fake goods, especially those from Chinese ecommerce sites.

Industry sources state that following initial plans last February for a broader Korean Fashion Brands Association that prioritized trademark infringement issues, small- and medium-sized fashion brands teamed up with online fashion retailer Musinsa to establish the Brand Intellectual Property Rights Protection Association.

Kim Hoon-do, CEO of fashion firm GBGH, will lead the non-profit organization, which was registered with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups last month.

Intellectual property infringement has increased due to the growth of Chinese ecommerce giants such as AliExpress and Temu, which have led to an invasion of low-cost knockoffs imitating items from South Korean fashion firms. Although the selling of knockoff and copycat fashion products has long afflicted domestic open markets, the current upsurge from international platforms prompted businesses to respond defensively.

The new association’s primary focus will be on keeping an eye out for and taking action against counterfeit goods that mimic the offerings of its member firms on local and international online marketplaces, especially those that are open platforms.

Joining together with the Counterfeit Product Distribution Prevention Council of the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency, the association will work with customs officials, patent offices and intellectual property legal firms to protect members’ trademark rights. It will also offer instructional materials on intellectual property issues and legal assistance to brands involved in IP disputes.

- Excel V. Dyquiangco

Law firms