• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:25am
NewsHong Kong

Luxury brands ‘bullying’ small businesses

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 March, 2013, 11:36am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 March, 2013, 1:46am

Luxury brands makers were increasingly targeting smaller businesses – rather than larger manufacturers – to seek compensation for brand infringements, lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan said on Friday.

In a recent case, a hair salon owner was sued by Louis Vuitton after inspectors visited the salon and found that some of the salon's chairs were covered with a pattern very similar to Louis Vuitton’s.

Two other shop owners described a similar situation on local radio on Friday. They said they were both sued for selling handbags with buckles similar to those used on a brand of luxury handbags.

All three owners said they had made no infringements and would not pay compensation. “It’s very subjective as to whether the designs are similar,” said Ho, who is also a lawyer representing small businesses.

“Bullying” by big brand makers was “outrageous”, he told local radio.

Ho explained that lawyers and investigation teams recruited by the famous brands usually only made money when taking legal action. This led to unfair cases. He noted that around 30 years ago, manufacturers were usually targeted for brand infringements – not small businesses.

Now lawyers took action against smaller shops, which could not cope with expensive lawsuits, Ho explained.




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This article is now closed to comments

The more important question is: Why is our legal system so vulnerable to use as a weapon in the hands of the well-heeled. As much as we croon about our wonderful Rule of Law and what a fine system of justice is played out in our courts, the reality is that virtually all of the community is denied access to them, these small businesses included. A major overhaul of the underlying economics is long overdue. The situation is simply getting worse by the day.
Just like the legendary "innovative" Apple. Suing anything that comes with a touch screen. These companies were once leaders in innovations, but now you can tell when their innovation runs out, all they can do is to resort to pushing around.
i wouldn't call it bullying. They just want some news..publicity..you know, something to chit chat about. Boring actually.
however, wrong is wrong. Maybe LV will issue statement like ...out of compassion and realising the owner has confessed and swear not to copy our brands, we have decided to drop the lawsuit.
that my friend is publicity....no charge too !


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