Cosmetics company guilty of copying a rival’s logo
The Southern Seoul District Court ruled yesterday that Able C&C, the manufacturer of a cut-price cosmetics line, Missha, infringed on the copyright of Mary Quant, a Japanese cosmetics brand. The Korean firm was banned from using a red flower-shaped symbol on its products, in its outlets, or in print or broadcast advertising.
The Tokyo-based Mary Quant filed a lawsuit last year accusing Able C&C of trademark violations, and sought 100 million won ($104,482) in compensation. Under Korean copyright law, companies are prohibited from using symbols that are similar in shape to a previously-registered trademark and differ only in color.
Though the court upheld the complaint, the claim for damages was rejected on the grounds that the two brands occupy different price ranges, and so do not compete directly.
Able C&C said it is looking into appealing yesterday’s ruling, but added it will replace the logo later this month.
In a bid to downplay concerns over fallout from the ruling, Able C&C said its production would not be seriously disrupted, as most of its cosmetics do not use the offending logo.
by Seo Ji-eun