Italian luxury brand Gucci has sent legal letters to two paper offering stores for selling items that bear similar logos to its brand. The company stated that the copycat products violated their copyright.
According to the shopkeepers, the letter from Gucci’s legal representative asked them to stop selling the novelty paper offerings immediately. It also asked them to disclose information about their suppliers, according to Apple Daily.
“I am neither the manufacturer nor the supplier, why are they picking on me?” one of the shop owners told the newspaper. She said that she did not recognise that her products resembled Gucci’s as she has never owned anything from the luxury brand.
Paper offerings are often burnt in Asian cultures as offerings for the dead.
“We are burning it, not selling it. These products are offerings for the dead, not the living, how are we violating copyright?” said owners of another store in Sheung Wan.
Managers of similar shops in the area stated that the products could be from Guangdong.
Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said that according to Trade Marks Ordinance, those who use the trademark of a company without permission may have violated copyright even if the two businesses were different.
In August of 2011, several papier-mâché offering businesses were sued in Chinatown, Manhattan for copyright violation after they distributed paper replicas of Gucci products. The court eventually ruled that the businesses were not guilty on the grounds that paper offerings were a part of Asian culture.