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Ikea lawyers review Chinese 'copycat' store

Ikea lawyers review Chinese 'copycat' store

Published: 02 Aug 2011 15:51 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Aug 2011 15:51 GMT+02:00

Swedish furniture firm Ikea has instructed its lawyers to consider whether a newly opened store in southern China constitutes an infringement of its trademark.

"For us it is very important to protect Ikea's brand and the expectations of the customer. This includes soft values such as customer service and security," said Ikea Sweden spokesperson Ylva Magnusson to The Local.

"When a customer goes somewhere else and thinks they are in Ikea, then it could harm our brand."

The warehouse has been opened by Chinese firm 11 Furniture and is located in the city of Kunming in Yunnan province in southern China, according to a Reuters report.

The store is reported to constitute 10,000 square metres spread over four floors, featuring similar signs, furnished rooms and yellow and blue colour scheme of the popular Swedish firm.

Ylva Magnusson told The Local that Inter Ikea Systems, the owner of the Ikea concept, has instructed its lawyers to look into the matter.

"The legal department is going to look at this and see if our trademark has been encroached," she said.

This is not the first time however that Ikea has been hit by similar problems.

"Ikea is a strong brand and it has happened that parts of our concept have been copied before, but not an entire store concept," Ylva Magnusson said.

Magnusson added that part of the firm's strategy for combating the spread of counterfeit goods is to continue to open new branches in China to meet demand.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:34 August 2, 2011 by countrysidedrive
China steals everything with absolutely no shame. The government allows it, condones it and encourages it. I hope a big company like IKEA can stop it. But I doubt it. If you don't want your idea stolen, never deal with China. And just for the record I like China and Chinese but they need to respect others as they want to be respected.
21:43 August 2, 2011 by Nemesis
IKEA has a lot of its goods made in China, instead of Sweden.

IKEA has been steadily switching production to China, while closing production facilities in Europe, which has lead to the present situation whereby the majority of what IKEA sells is made in China.

If they expected to use China as a production facility only, then they are more niave than I thought.

The chinese are not stupid and assuming they are, is a mistake that IKEA is now learning the hard way.

Also the people in the production facilities in Europe that have lost there jobs in the last few years have learned a lot about IKEA loyalty to its workers.

This sounds like a case of Karma.
02:56 August 3, 2011 by lovebobu
copy cat is never be a first choice for any customers. people in China who shop at IKEA know what is IKEA (same like a real LV and a fake LV, people is not that stupid).

'

What IKEA should do instead of suing the chinese, IKEA should make its stores to be more unique, more services, more varieties...... it's the CULTURE that you can not copy.

Of course it is not right to copy someone idea and you should protect it, but dont waste the time running after them because once you win the case, the Chinese will open a new company and do exactly the same and that will be endless fun for IKEA
09:01 August 3, 2011 by Zeffanyx
Sometimes I dream that all Ikea goods would be ma de in Scandic countries. Yes, they would be expensive, but also more authentic.
10:48 August 3, 2011 by andyron2
I guess they take pride in copying things and its an open secret they steal others ideas.patent rights do not work for them i suppose.

One of my friend who came from china tells,that they are so smart that they copy just about anything with less cost of production and they sellers tell openly,that its 100 percent fake(almost impossible to make out the diff with the original),80% fake,50% and so on.
15:26 August 3, 2011 by Carbarrister
"The legal department is going to look at this and see if our trademark has been encroached," she said.

It only takes two questions:

1.)Is the IKEA trademark registered in the PRC? (in Chinese characters as well)

2.)Is the unauthorized use "confusingly similar"?

That should take the lawyers 10 seconds.

If the IKEA trademark isn't registered -- fire the lawyers. If it is, and they don't know what to do next -- fire the lawyers.

I've been down this road at least 30 times.

Relief is only 5 years away.....unless political pressure can be brought to bear.
15:42 August 5, 2011 by calebian22
Zeffanyx,

That store already exists. It is called Mio.
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