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  • Ernie Diaz

Another Shein-ing Example

As copyright and trademark protection in China is our bailiwick, we hear familiar bells ringing over Shein's new IP-theft case, this time with Dr. Martens accusing. In 2018, it was Levi's, charging Shein with copying their stitching patterns.

Dr. Marten's parent company AirWair is also charging Shein with copying stitching patterns, and elasticized soles, to boot....literally to boot.

For some context, Shein is a self-styled "H&M killer", in the business of aping more expensive fashions, then distributing them almost exclusively via mobile channels, a Zara-esque iteration profitable enow to see the company through to pre-IPO stage.

"The complaint is a time-honored and legitimate one," opines Edward Lehman. "However, in this post-industrial age, marketing is everything. Airwair claiming substantial damages in China from a copied stitching pattern is rather like an app with 5,000 users claiming that Instagram is using the color scheme it implemented first. In any event, what is clear is that Airwair failed to file and implement proper IP protection in China, an all-too-common mistake. And an especially lamentable one, given that such protection is more streamlined and enforceable than ever."

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