Uniqlo sues Shein in Japan over viral bag duplicate

Uniqlo has filed a lawsuit in Japan against Shein over claims that the Chinese online retail giant copied the design of its iconic round mini shoulder bag.

The petition, filed on 28 December in the Tokyo District Court against Roadget Business Pte, Fashion Choice Pte, and SHEIN JAPAN, demands the "immediate cessation of sales of the imitation products and compensation for damages incurred."

Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, said that the unit filed the complaint “because it has determined that the form of the imitation products sold by Shein closely resembles that of its own product, and that the sale of the imitation products by Shein significantly undermines the high level of customer confidence in the quality of the Uniqlo brand and its products”.

Uniqlo added that it “takes a resolute stance against any act that infringes on its intellectual property and will take appropriate measures in response, including legal action”.

In comments published by The Guardian, a spokesperson for Shein said: “Shein respects the intellectual property rights of others and takes all claims of infringement seriously. We are currently investigating this matter.”
This is not the first time that Shein has been accused of copying other brands’ designs.

H&M and Chrome Hearts both filed copyright lawsuits in Hong Kong in 2023, while the Guardian report points to a previous investigation from the Observer which spoke to a handful of independent designers who claimed that Shein sold “exact copies” of their work and that the practice is “part and parcel of Shein’s ‘design’ process and organisational DNA”.

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