Korean copies in SE Asia
All things Korean from K Pop to hairstyles to luxury Amore Pacific and LG Household beauty products are in vogue across Asia and beyond. This is leading to a new type of copycats. Fake fragrances are sold in fake stores (see photo) around the region. Dozens of such shops have appeared in Vietnam recently. Mumuso is a Shanghai based retailer of Korean style goods. Its stores use Korean script, staff costumes and music. The allegation is that it sells Chinese sourced fake Korean goods. It is rapidly expanding and now the Shanghai company is opening in Australia. And even it is being copied across Asia, with numerous copy retail trademark registrations for Mumuso appearing in other Asian trademark registries. But there is no original Mumuso brand in Korea!
Korean government agencies such as the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency and the Korea Creative Content Agency are very concerned. They are encouraging Korean firms to take action to stop the sale of copies of their goods and the issue has also been raised with the Blue House (the President’s office in Seoul). The Korean IP communities is in heated discussion on how to protect the “Korean Wave” (a.k.a. Hallyu) as Korean’s own national IP.