Blog: Logo loggerheads
Leonie Barrie | 2 April 2004
France's La Chemise Lacoste and Singapore's Crocodile International Pte Ltd have this week been snapping at each other in a Chinese court over their look-alike crocodile logos. Although Lacoste is now rumoured to be threatening to pull out of the Chinese market after it was told to stop using its logo and to pay one dollar in compensation to Crocodile International, I can’t help thinking there is too much at stake for such a rash move.
In fact, the ferocity with which both companies are fighting for a position in China - a $54 billion-a-year retail clothing market – shows just how critical this market has become. But it also reveals the darker side of doing business in China and the trouble caused by rampant piracy of brand-name products. Of the €4 million Lacoste spends a year in copyright disputes, half is spent in China.
Although the streets of China are awash with fake just-about-anything, the boldness of some counterfeiters almost defies belief. The Chinese firm "Italy Pierre Cardin", which has faithfully copied the logo of its French namesake, even went to the lengths of booking a stand at the International Clothing and Accessories Fair in Beijing – before investigators were called in to close it down.
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