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Recently, Guerlain sued L'Oreal. Because L'Oreal (China) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as L'Oreal) failed to fulfill its obligation to make public statements and eliminate the impact, LVMH perfume Cosmetics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as LVMH) applied for compulsory execution.

The final judgment of the court is that L'Oreal Company needs to immediately stop the unfair competition behavior involved from the effective date of the judgment, and compensate the plaintiff LVMH Company for economic losses and reasonable expenses totaling 1.2 million yuan. It also needs to publicly release statements on its official website and Weibo homepage for 15 consecutive days to eliminate the impact.


Jiaolan's parent company claims 10 million yuan

Guerlain is a cosmetics brand established in France in 1828, which mainly deals in perfume, cosmetics and maintenance products. It is a brand under the well-known international luxury group LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton).

On March 18, 2021, LVMH sued L'Oreal for trademark infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition in the 2019 Golden Zhi Zhen Yan nectar series AGE PERFECT NECTAR ROYAL product, as well as the 2010 Emperor Bee Pose Tight Repair series ABEILLE ROYALE product launched by its brand Guerlain. L'Oreal was requested to cease using "nectar" and "NECTAR" in product descriptions, The second is to issue a clarification statement stating that its "nectar luxury care" product is not related to the "ABEILLEROYALE" product of Guerlain, and the third is to compensate for economic losses of RMB 10 million.

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After trial, the court held that the defendant's use of NECTAR ROYAL and the plaintiff's use of the registered trademark ABEILLE ROYALE would not cause public confusion and would not infringe on the plaintiff's registered trademark rights. The court also held that the plaintiff's ABEILLE ROYALE Emperor Bee Pose series products were one of the main cosmetics under the Guerlain brand and had a high level of popularity. Through extensive promotion by the plaintiff, the Emperor Bee Pose series products have formed a close connection with their product promotional images and design elements. The defendant's NECTAR ROYAL series product promotion partially used the same or similar composition, color matching, etc. as the plaintiff, which is difficult to explain through coincidence and reasonable use. It has the intention of climbing the reputation and reputation of the plaintiff's product, and constitutes unfair competition behavior.

Finally, the court ruled that the defendant L'Oreal Company would stop engaging in unfair competition in the case, compensate the plaintiff LVMH Company for economic losses and reasonable expenses totaling 1.2 million yuan, and publicly release statements on its official website and Weibo homepage for 15 consecutive days to eliminate the impact. Rejected the other claims of the plaintiff LVMH perfume Cosmetics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

There is a suspicion of "clinging" to similar advertisements

It is understood that the biggest dispute in this case lies in the third point mentioned above, which is the definition of unfair competition behavior. LVMH believes that L'Oreal is suspected of "plagiarism" in both the promotion and content mentioned above.

In terms of advertising promotion, Guerlain believes that L'Oreal intentionally adopts the same design elements, clearly embodying the goodwill and market influence that Guerlain has long established for the "ABEILLEROYALE" product.

L'Oreal argues that its design philosophy comes from its own company's consistent design, and in the AGE PERFECT product launched in 2010, the golden hexagonal element was already used.

The court did not accept the content of the defense and ruled that its behavior was intentional attachment to the popularity and reputation of Guerlain products, which may result in the loss of Guerlain users.

What are the common manifestations of unfair competition behavior

According to the Anti Unfair Competition Law, the following behaviors are considered as unfair competition behaviors:

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1. Counterfeiting someone else's registered trademark;

2. Unauthorized use of the unique name, packaging, or decoration of well-known goods, or the use of names, packaging, or decoration similar to well-known goods, resulting in confusion with others' well-known goods and causing buyers to mistakenly believe that they are well-known goods;

3. Unauthorized use of another person's business name or name, causing people to mistakenly believe it is another person's product;

4. Forging or falsely using quality marks such as certification marks and famous and high-quality marks on goods, forging the origin, and making misleading false representations about the quality of the goods;

5. Operators shall not engage in market transactions by using the following unfair means to harm competitors;

6. Public enterprises or other legally exclusive operators shall not restrict others from purchasing the goods of their designated operators, in order to exclude fair competition from other operators;

7. The government and its affiliated departments shall not abuse administrative power, restrict others to purchase the goods of their designated operators, and restrict the legitimate business activities of other operators;

8. Operators shall not use property or other means to bribe in order to sell or purchase goods;

9. Business operators shall not use advertisements or other methods to make misleading false propaganda about the quality, ingredients, performance, purpose, producer, expiration date, origin, etc. of the goods.

10. The operator infringes on trade secrets.

Enterprises will definitely face various competitions in their market operations. To prevent malicious competition among peers, enterprises need to actively strengthen their own brand building, improve service quality and technical level while operating legally.

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