The loopholes in China’s IP protection have caused many overseas brands developing in China at great risks. Similar to foreign brands such as Adidas and New Balance that have been counterfeited in China, another foreign clothing Brand, Australian Ypl, has recently fallen into an IP trap in China. Compared with the former, the situation of this brand is more “awkward.” A Chinese company has snatched up even the brand’s name through “rush registration.” By licensing the non-genuine YPL brand, the company made a lot of money while making many unsuspecting consumers become “dupe” who paid high prices for counterfeit products.
According to public information, YPL is a relatively best-selling sportswear brand in Australia, and its products are sold in more than 20 countries and regions worldwide.According to query data from the Chinese search engine Baidu, in 2020, YPL’s sales exceeded 600 million yuan, an increase of more than 30% compared with 2019. And it should be said that YPL is still a famous brand with high recognition in China
However, on the e-commerce platform, by searching YPL keywords and comparing the product sequence of YPL’s own flagship store, the reporter found a number of products that do not belong to Australian YPL. For example, a product called “YPL Sunscreen Cool Sensation Pant” has sold 40,000 pieces on a short video platform, while another product called “YPL Cloud Sensation Outdoor Sunscreen Clothe” was put on the shelves by many Taobao purchasing agents. According to this, the reporter consulted the back-end customer service of YPL’s official flagship store, and the other party said that these two products are not official products of YPL in Australia. When the reporter asked how to deal with such copycat products, the other party did not comment, and then the reporter contacted the YPL brand to express the interview request, but did not get a reply by press time.
“The Australian Ypl Brand is known to many people in the circle of counterfeiting, but at present they are not willing to talk about it officially, because the relevant rights are going through legal procedures.” A person who is also engaged in cross-border trade in China said that the protagonist of this counterfeiting incident is not only the official brand – “Australia YPL Co., Ltd.”, but also the “Devil Peak Behind” – Harbin Aoshengyuan Trading Co., Ltd.
It is understood that the Australian YPL trademark was approved in China in 2014. However, in 2019 and 2022, Harbin Aoshengyuan Trading Co., Ltd. took advantage of China’s intellectual property protection loopholes to register two “YPL” related trademarks in China. Then they turned to use these two trademarks to authorize the counterfeiting of genuine Australian YPL products.
More importantly, the YPL-related trademarks held by this Harbin company are not a brand that makes its own products peacefully from various details, but are rubbing off the brand popularity of “Australia YPL” by playing edge ball or directly illegal.One of the example is this fake “YPL Sunscreen Cool Sensation Pant” product. The body of the trousers is impressively printed with the YPL letter and graphic logo of Australia’s YPL, which has been registered and protected since 2014.Another fake “YPL Cloud Sensation Outdoor Sunscreen Clothes” its clothes surface printed puppy icon is very similar to the Australian YPL registered puppy graphic label. Even more exaggerated is that even though its clothes are made in China, the company has chosen to sell them in many purchasing agent stores specifically, trying to mix the genuine with the fictitious.
The reporter learned that these counterfeit products are all produced in small domestic factories, with huge differences in fabric and design from the genuine products, but their prices are comparable to those of genuine products. What’s more, some e-commerce platforms even sell them at prices significantly higher than than those of genuine products of the same series. With the help of various anchors and media, the sales volume is staggering.
It is worth mentioning that although Australia’s YPL has been tight-lipped about this incident, the outside world can still judge its basic ideas through its specific actions. According to several media sources, recently, YPL recently announced the launch of of a nationwide offline advertising campaign, which was widely interpreted by the industry as an intention to deepen Chinese consumers’ impression of the authentic Australian YPL brand.
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