Date
20 October 2017
Hong Kong funeral accessory shops sell all sorts of offerings for the dead. Some sell branded paper shoes and paper handbags. Photo: Baidu
Hong Kong funeral accessory shops sell all sorts of offerings for the dead. Some sell branded paper shoes and paper handbags. Photo: Baidu

Gucci warns funeral accessory shops over branded paper shoes

Gucci is threatening legal action against two Hong Kong funeral accessory shops that sell branded paper shoes used in ceremonial burning.

The Italian luxury goods company said the Gucci-branded paper shoes infringe its trademark, Apple Daily, reports quoting a letter from lawyers.

One of the shop owners said she does not understand what all the fuss is about because she has never owned a luxury product, much less a Gucci brand.

She said she was terrified when she received the warning letter.

The other said no trademark is infringed on when the products are burned and never used again.

Gucci is demanding the two North Point shops stop selling the shoes in question and reveal their suppliers.

Many funeral shops in Hong Kong sell “branded” paper offerings which are burned in ceremonies to pay respect to the dead, the report said.

A shop owner said the products are sourced from Shantou in Guangdong province.

Senior barrister Albert Luk said any unauthorized use of trademark on any product is illegal.

Luk said funeral products could mislead consumers, especially if they are advertised as a luxury brand or sold as a Gucci since the company also has a line of paper products.

In the US, a funeral accessory shop was cleared by a court in a 2011 lawsuit over sales of Louis Vuitton paper bags and Gucci paper shoes.

The judge ruled that paper offerings are a Chinese cultural tradition.

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