'Shinsegae made copycat clothes'
By Yi Whan-woo
A court ruled in favor of a clothes maker Monday in its dispute with a conglomerate retail store over copyright infringements.
The Seoul Central District Court ordered Shinsegae International to stop manufacturing and selling copycat clothes of GNCO’s casual wear brand, Thursday Island.
“Shinsegae International shall not produce, sell, lend, display, or export any clothes that resemble Thursday Island designs from now on,” the court said.
GNCO filed a suit in May when Shinsegae International, one of the country’s largest distributors, began to produce and sell women’s shirts and blouses that were identical to its brand items.
The retail store sold the clothes under the brand Naturalization at E-mart, one of its affiliate companies and the country’ largest retail outlet chain.
GNCO claimed that the conglomerate used the same fabric as well as identical details, including flowery embroidery and leaves on the collars, and the lace decoration on the sleeves. The clothes maker introduced the product in 2011 for the summer season, and said the conglomerate stole its exclusive designs of “hot-selling” items.
“It’s obvious that E-mart closely studied the sales of the Thursday Island products for a year to enter the market, and then launched its own brand,” the court said.
“The copycat brand has some differences from the original, but they’re mere modifications and it’s hard to say that E-mart made separate effort including time and capital to come up with such similar designs.”
The court told GNCO to pay 100 million won ($87,900) to Shinsegae International in return for the remaining copycat products that have not yet been sold.