Cardin’s bag was Kolon rip off: Court

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Cardin’s bag was Kolon rip off: Court

Kolon Industry’s fashion brand Couronne said it won a patent infringement lawsuit against Pierre Cardin yesterday for copying its Stephanie bag.

The Seongnam Branch of Suwon District Court accepted Couronne’s claim April 24 that Pierre Cardin had copied the design of the Stephanie bag and upheld a sales injunction on the similar bag in Korea, said Kolon.

The Stephanie bag is one of Couronne hits, selling 52,000 units last year. It was popular among female celebrities.

When Pierre Cardin released its V4V handbag last November, Couronne believed it copied the Stephanie design. It asked the French fashion brand to stop selling the product.

“We called for the suspension of V4V sales last November, immediately after it was launched as we thought it fell under unfair competition and violated our trade secrets,” said a spokesperson for Kolon. Pierre Cardin denied the claim and continued sales of V4V.

Couronne filed a patent lawsuit in January.

“Couronne’s Stephanie and the V4V have the same or confusingly similar overall shape and details of designs,” the court ruled. “Considering the fact that V4V started selling after Couronne’s bag was sensationally popular, the intent of imitation is also recognized.”

Couronne had sales of 40 billion won ($36 million) at its 45 stores nationwide last year, posting 250 percent on-year sales growth. This year, it aims for more than 60 billion won in sales at its 65 stores.

Kolon plans to aggressively protect its intellectual property rights. “From now on, we will strengthen crackdown on imitations or similar products,” said a spokesperson for Kolon.


By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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