Shini steps up Chinese intellectual property fight

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: October 9, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Design, Machinery

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (Oct. 9, 2:20 p.m. ET) — Taiwanese auxiliary equipment maker Shini Group has stepped up its campaign against what it says are mainland Chinese companies who copy its design and equipment — including masquerading as Shini at trade shows and wearing company clothing that mimic the Taiwanese firm.

Shini, based in Taipei, Taiwan, has been aggressive in court cases in China, and claims it has won some important battles there. It recently took its arguments more globally, issuing English statements in late July in response to what an executive said was more aggressive worldwide marketing by some copycat firms.

In an interview at the Taipei Plas trade show, held Sept. 21-25 in Taipei, Overseas Business and Marketing Director Alan Chen said the economic stakes are substantial.

Chen estimated that in China alone, 10-20 percent of the market for auxiliary equipment for plastics processing violates some intellectual property or trademark of Shini, Conair Group, Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH or another global brand.

“They just keep coming up and coming up,” said Chen. “You stop one case, and five to 10 cases pop up. That is what I find most frustrating.”

Chen said court cases have helped tame the worst of the problems, such as competitors falsely claiming in advertisements and at trade shows that they were a branch of Shini or authorized to manufacture Shini equipment.

That has caused problems with customers, who buy the counterfeit equipment thinking it is from Shini and then when it breaks down, they call the Taiwanese firm to come and repair it.

“Many customers came back to us with service claims that we are not responsible for,” Chen said in an interview at Shini’s booth. “In lots of cases my service guys would go in and open up the machine, and say, ‘This is not my machine.’ The customer says, ‘What do you mean, it’s Shini.’

“This troubles us,” Chen said. “It’s our reputation.”

In two of the cases, Shini said the infringing firms had previously been agents for the Taiwanese firm but then began selling fake products with Shini labels or labels with a very similar name. One former agent copied Shini’s catalog, website and publicity material, the company said.

“What’s more, their staffs also wore the same Shini suits and used Shini business card[s],” the company said. “They used [a] quotation and sales contract by impersonating a branch company of Shini.”

Shini also said that some of the copycat firms also falsely claimed to be a “well-known brand” in Guangdong province, a government-issued designation that Shini was awarded in 2008 and that some Chinese companies feature prominently in their marketing.

Shini has a substantial production base and technology center in Dongguan, Guangdong province, in addition to factories elsewhere in China and in India.

The company is currently building a new manufacturing plant in the western Chinese city of Chongqing, which will be its sixth factory when it opens in 2014, and has become one of China’s largest makers of auxiliary equipment for plastics.

It’s not trying to stop competitors from manufacturing, just from infringing on Shini intellectual property, Chen said: “I am totally OK with them manufacturing products – just don’t tell people you are Shini.”

The company put a list of firms on its website that it says may falsely claim to be Shini, and included their websites. It said customers should only use the Shini website, www.shini.com, to verify company representation.

Chen said that while Shini will continue to defend itself in court, it also realizes it too has to keep innovating and can’t rely entirely on court cases.

“The best way is to move on, just keep ahead of them with new ideas, new technology, a new image,” Chen said. “It also forces you to develop your own style. You want to be the benchmark.”


Comments

Shini steps up Chinese intellectual property fight

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: October 9, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

JSW looks to improve equipment servicing in Europe through contract

April 15, 2014 11:09 am ET

Tokyo-based manufacturer of extruding machinery Japan Steel Works (JSW) has signed an agreement with a Dutch company to help it improve servicing on...    More

Image

US equipment firm buys Negri Bossi

April 14, 2014 1:58 pm ET

Italian plastics equipment major Sacmi Group's offerings are getting a U.S. identity. Sacmi has sold its plastics division to Kingsbury Corp., a...    More

Reality may be pulling back on 3-D investors' expectations — and cash

April 11, 2014 2:23 pm ET

Makers of 3-D printers have seen plenty of positive news stories, but falling share prices.    More

3-D printer firms beef up, build supply chain

April 11, 2014 2:32 pm ET

Driven by prospects for direct manufacturing of finished products, makers of 3-D printing equipment are moving to buy add-on companies like additive...    More

Image

Engel creates new Wintec brand for Asia

April 11, 2014 2:17 pm ET

Engel Holding GmbH has formed a new subsidiary in China that will sell injection molding machinery in Asia under a new brand name: Wintec.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events