Korean Court Rules that Lotte Stole Snack Design

A South Korean court has ruled that South Korean-based Lotte Confectionary company violated the intellectual property rights of a Japanese competitor’s packaging design for Lotte Pepero Premier biscuits.

The ruling calls on Lotte to halt production of the product while disposing of all existing inventory.

According to the Seoul Central District Court, both the package and snack designs of Pepero Premier were too similar to Baton d’or, which is produced by the Japanese confectionery company Glico.


 

This closes out the dispute which started when Glico lodged the suit calling on Lotte to ban sales of its Pepero Premier back in November 2014.

“Lotte’s Pepero Premier was introduced to the local market after Baton d’or, and infringes on Glico’s design rights,” Judge Lee Tae-soo said.

Korea lotte steal design

“From the shape of the biscuit itself to the color and overall construction of the packaging, we find Pepero very similar to Baton d’or, leading us to conclude that the former was heavily inspired by the latter. Because Pepero Premier and Baton d’or are market competitors targeting similar customers, Lotte could damage Glico’s sales,” he added.


 

Lotte issued a statement saying it had not decided whether to file an appeal against the court decision while adding that the ruling will have no effect on its overall revenue.

“The product in question was a limited edition lineup that had been sold ahead of Valentine’s Day last year and is currently not produced, so the court sentence is not likely to impact any of the company’s sales.”

Not the first time

This is not the first time the two companies have been involved in fights over creative infringement violations. Lotte’s best-selling Pepero, which it started selling in both Korea and Japan in 1983, has long been accused of copying Glico’s Pocky biscuit sticks which first hit the market in 1966. Glico, however has not sought litigation for earlier cases.

Japan’s Rocket News has gathered several examples of Korean products that allegedly stole package and product designs from their Japanese neighbors.

Original Japanese versions are on the left side and later Korean version on the right. Have a look and you decide.

Korea steal Japan Design

Glico’s “Pocky” on the left and Lotte’s “Pepero” on right

Korea steal Japan Design 2

Japan’s Calorie Mate and Korea’s Calorie Balance.

Korea steal Japan Design

Japan’s “Amino Supil” and Korea’s “Amino Up”

Korea steal Japan Design 3

Japanese produced “Friend” and Korean-made “Fran”

 

 

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