The Korea Herald


Korean food makers win legal fights against Chinese counterfeiters

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : May 25, 2023 - 15:28

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Pictures of Korean food products (left) and Chinese Sanai brand products (Korea Food Industry Association) Pictures of Korean food products (left) and Chinese Sanai brand products (Korea Food Industry Association)

Korean food makers have won in legal fights against Chinese counterfeiters in a series of lawsuits filed in China, according to the Korea Food Industry Association on Thursday.

Of the total seven cases raised, the Chinese court recently ruled in favor of Korean firms in five cases at the first trial stage.

Following the rulings, the Chinese companies in question are now required to pay compensation worth 250,000 yuan ($35,353) to CJ CheilJedang, 350,000 yuan to Samyang Food, and 200,000 yuan to Daesang.

For the other two cases, a KFIA official said one ruled in favor of the Chinese company, while another is still pending.

The official declined to reveal any company names, saying leaked information could negatively affect the trials.

“We have only won the first trial. We plan on maintaining our vigilance,” the official added.

In December 2021, the KFIA formed a joint consultative body with four Korean food giants including CJ, Samyang, Daesang and Ottogi in a bid to raise copyright infringement lawsuits against two Chinese food retailers, Cheongdo Taeyangcho and Jeongdo Food – Korea’s first-ever joint efforts to counter counterfeit food products sold in China.

A total of nine products sold under the brand “Sanai” written in Korean letters were accused of violating the designs and trademarks of original Korean products. The products in question include Samyang's Spicy Buldak Ramen; CJ’s Beksul White Sugar, Solar Salt and Dasida; Daesang’s Miwon; and Ottogi’s Korean Vermicelli.

At the time, the KFIA said the unprecedented joint response was aimed at setting a strong precedent and to raise awareness about possible compensation claims against companies that produce and distribute counterfeit products in China.