Next Up in Kunming, China: Fake Ikea!
Well, more retail fakery in good old Kunming. You may recall our recent reports on the fake Apple stores in this fair south China city. Still no word on how Steve Jobs is reacting to those fake bits of entrepreneurship, even though the Chinese government shut a couple of them down. Now it looks like Apple isn’t the only company to have its carefully considered and, oh yeah, trademarked retail appearance high-jacked by Chinese counterfeiters. Swedish home-furnishing and lifestyle giant Ikea is the latest to have its retail environment illegally copied, right down to the chair designs and the famous yellow and blue signage colors. In fact, pretty much everything but the meatballs. This is apparently a growing trend in China, where slick businesspersons are no longer content to merely create and sell fakes of famous-maker handbags and shoes. The Kunming store which copied Ikea’s retail look and feel is called 11 Furniture. But unlike the fake Apple stores which sell authentic merchandise, 11 Furniture does not make or sell authentic Ikea products. Customers who buy at 11 Furniture get furniture which is made to order and is not presented as real Ikea product. In our previous report about fake Apple stores, we briefly discussed the legal concept of trade dress, a form of intellectual property which describes the design of a product or the proprietary design of the building or retail environment in which the product is sold. At the link, you’ll get more details on how pervasive the problem of trade-dress ripoffs is getting in China. And even though 11 Furniture didn’t copy the meatballs, we’re kind of curious how lingonberry jam would taste on the minced braised pork the store does sell. (Reuters – Fake Kunming Ikea Store)