Monday, September 25, 2006

Chinese "Sincere Flattery" Explosion in South Korea

The Digital Chosun Ilbo reports some staggering statistics of counterfeit goods entering South Korea. The writer of this article, who remains unknown, uses a splendid euphemism for trademark infringement: sincere flattery.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, the Korea Customs Service uncovered the following knockoffs as of the end of July:
  • Counterfeit Adidas products 2006: W106.7 billion (US$1=W944). In 2004 these counterfeit Adidas products were worth only W27 million, which means an increase of 3,953 times!

Part of the explosion in counterfeit Adidas might be explained by the rise in popularity because of the World Cup Soccer in Germany. However, according to the Chosun Ilbo legitimate sales picked up during the World Cup with 30 percent.

Other brands were infringed upon as well heavily. The increase since 2004 was:

  • Piaget 133 times;
  • Gucci 99 times;
  • Frank Muller 9.3 times;
  • Montblanc 8.8 times;
  • Vacheron Constantin 8.2 times.

However, infringements of the brands Fendi, Versace, Celine, Tiffany and DKNY products have decreased. Chosun Ilbo presumed that this went hand in hand with the alleged decreased esteem of these brands.

"Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Rolex spawned the largest numbers of knock-offs over the last three years. In 2004, the entire value of intercepted counterfeit merchandise was W205.5 billion, but through July 2006, that number jumped to an alarming W922.3 billion."

Read the Chosun Ilbo article here.

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