Uniqlo Sues Shein for Allegedly Copying Its Shoulder Bag

Uniqlo Sues Shein for Allegedly Copying Its Shoulder Bag
Photo: Uniqlo 17.01.2024 541

Japanese Uniqlo is suing China's Shein, accusing it of ripping off its popular round mini shoulder bag.

Uniqlo filed a lawsuit against Shein’s operators Roadget Business, Fashion Choice, and Shein Japan at the Tokyo District Court on Dec. 28, parent company Fast Retailing said on its website yesterday. Uniqlo is seeking an immediate halt to sales of the “imitation products” and compensation for damages, it added.

Uniqlo is suing because it has determined that the form of the “imitation products” sold by Shein closely resembles that of its round mini shoulder bag and undermines the high level of customer confidence in the quality of the Uniqlo brand and its products, Fast Retailing said. 

Fast Retailing takes a resolute stance against any act that infringes on its intellectual property and will take appropriate measures in response, including legal action, the Yamaguchi-based company pointed out.

Founded in 2008, Shein caters to overseas markets and has gained huge popularity recently for its fast-fashion business model, affordable prices, and wide range of trendy clothing and accessories. It has 250 million social media followers, and is equivalent in size to Spanish fashion retailer Zara and Sweden’s H&M.

This is not the first time Shein has been sued by brands for copying their products. For example, the copyright infringement lawsuit with H&M has been going on since 2021. In April 2022, social media users, especially TikTok, launched a campaign showing Shein copying Zara models.

According to experts, imitating the designs of other brands is the basis of the business model of companies such as Shein. This sphere is often referred to as "super fast fashion" - fast fashion is the business model of companies such as Zara or H&M, while Shein's clothes are even cheaper and even less designed for long-term use.

The company was recently accused of anti-competitive practices in the US market by its rival Chinese retailer Temu. In particular, Shein has been accused of unlawful actions such as intimidation and filing sham copyright claims to "sabotage" Temu's business.

Sources: BNN Bloomberg, Yicai Global

China 

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