Balenciaga fashion house try to sue Thailand for Intellectual Property rights over original Thai box luggage bag
THE head of the Intellectual Property Department has assured the Balenciaga fashion house – which makes shoes, clothing and handbags – that Thai-based handbag manufacturers have not broken intellectual property laws. Consumers could carry Thai-made handbags, which look similar to the fashion handbags, in Europe without concern, she said.
Nantawan Sukuntanak, left, head of the Intellectual Property Department, carries a handbag made in Thailand that is similar in appearance to items produced under the Balenciaga brand. A model, left, shown at the Fall Winter 2016 Runway Show last Sunday.
The Department’s director-general Nantawan Sakuntanak was referring to the plastic box-shaped bags that Thai vendors have used for years, before the European brand became popular.
The Thai handbags are made of plastic and do not use leather like the European handbags. They also differ in shape, colour, design pattern and trademark. So, neither the Thai-based bag manufacturer nor Balenciaga have legal standing to file a suit for violation of property rights, Nantawan said.
Furthermore, similar bags were also widely used in neighbouring countries and China, she said.
A violation of intellectual property rights only exists if there is an exact duplication of an original product that has a registered trademark, brand or design, with the intention of misleading consumers or taking advantage of a brand’s popularity, Nantawan explained.