Stop selling paper fakes for burning, Gucci says in letters to Hong Kong stores

A handbag paper offering bearing a logo similar to Gucci's.
A handbag paper offering bearing a logo similar to Gucci's.PHOTO: APPLE DAILY

HONG KONG (THE NEW PAPER) - Two shops selling paper offerings in Hong Kong have been served legal letters by Gucci after they were found to be selling items bearing logos similar to the Italian brand’s.

The luxury brand said the paper representations of its products violated its copyright, reported Apple Daily.

Some of the items sold were paper versions of the fashion house’s handbags, to be burnt as offerings for those in the afterlife, reported the Financial Times.

 

The shopkeepers said the letter from Gucci’s legal representative asked them to stop selling the novelty paper offerings immediately.

One shopkeeper said: “I am neither the manufacturer nor the supplier, why are they picking on me?”

She claimed that she did not recognise that her products resembled Gucci’s as she has never owned anything from the luxury brand, reported the Hong Kong Free Press website.

The legal letter also asked them to disclose information about their suppliers, according to Apple Daily.

“We are burning it, not selling it,” said the owners of the other shop, in Sheung Wan. “These products are offerings for the dead, not the living. How are we violating copyright?”

Gucci Hong Kong said it fully respects the funeral context. The company also believed the store owners did not have the intention to infringe Gucci’s trademark, BBC reported.

“Thus a letter was sent on an informational basis to let these stores know about the products they were carrying, and asking them to stop selling those items,” said a Gucci Hong Kong statement.

Managers of some of the paper offering shops in the area said the products could be from the neighbouring Guangdong province in China.

Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said those who use the trademark of a company without permission may have violated copyright even if the two businesses were different.