E-Land’s SPA brand Folder is in controversy over the use of another firm’s product design without permission. According to industry sources, E-Land produced similar products and sold them in China after copying Labor Day’s mufflers. E-Land Retail CEO Kim Yeon-bae apologized for this at this year’s parliamentary inspection of the administration regarding the Korea Intellectual Property Office.
“E-Land sold mufflers having the same lengths, colors and everything as ours at half prices, doing serious damage to our brand value, but has refused to answer to our demand for an official apology,” Labor Day claimed. “When our merchandiser proposes a design at our factory, the latter makes suggestions as to yarns and the like, and similar threads and so on can be used during this course,” E-Land said in response, adding, “The merchandiser who planned the muffler in question has already quit.”
A PR representative of E-land also mentioned on Nov. 25 that the muffler has a universal design, and therefore it is not appropriate to jump to the conclusion that the company stole the design. Nevertheless, E-Land has recalled all of the mufflers. It explained that the recall was merely to avoid any further controversy as a big company.