Foreo awarded $450k in landmark counterfeit payout in China

Kingdom Zhuhai Company has been found guilty of infringing on the Foreo Luna design patent

Foreo has been awarded RMB3m (US$450k) after a Chinese company was found guilty of ripping off its hero Luna facial cleansing device.

The counterfeit payout is the largest to be made in Shanghai Intellectual Property Court history.

Kingdom Zhuhai Company infringed on the Luna design patent with its own version KD308 and is thought to have made more than RMB35m from 358,074 online sales of the copycat product, mainly through Alibaba and Tianmao platforms.

FOREO's Founder, Filip Sedic, said: "While this judgement is a great victory for Foreo, the important fact remains that Chinese courts are waging war on counterfeiting in its own backyard and it's working."

He also revealed that at any one time, his brand's dedicated legal team can be found "working round the clock" on as many as 30 or more cases relating to counterfeit products.

Sedic added: "Retailers and marketplaces, not only in China but across the world, need to place a higher regard on IP protection for brands.

"Working together with China's newest e-commerce legislation, and standing up to counterfeiting by engaging legal teams, we have every trust in the ongoing war on counterfeiting with the support of the Chinese legal system."

China gives greater IP protection

Global counterfeiting is worth in excess of $460bn and that makes up for around 2.5% of trade worldwide, a fact Sedic believes is "very confronting".

To reach the landmark payout figure, the court considered the retail price, reasonable profit and design patent contribution of the Luna device.

China introduced a new e-commerce law on 1 January 2019, which gives greater IP protection and requires registration and licensing of e-commerce operators, taxation, electronic payment and dispute resolution.

FOREO's Global Legal Director, Kelsay Tang, said: "Given that IP protection is a relatively new concept in China, not to be confused with patent law which was created in 1984, we are seeing major progress on IP protection over the past years and this case bucks the trend."

Foreo was founded in 2013 and has gained a mass following for its Luna device, with one product sold every three minutes globally.

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