Lotte Pepero Premiere Found Guilty of Copying Japanese Snack Packaging

D-Bo , Aug. 23, 2015, 10:36 a.m.

Lotte Confectionery, a unit of South Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate Lotte Group, has been found guilty of copying a Japanese snack maker’s package design, a court ruling said Sunday. The Seoul Central District Court sided with Japan-based Ezaki Glico Co., which had lodged the suit against the South Korean confectionery firm to ban sales of its Pepero Premier earlier in November 2014.

The Japanese company had accused Lotte of violating its design rights, calling the Pepero Premier’s packaging a copy of the box design of its Baton d’or, and asked for all existing products to be recalled and discarded. “Lotte’s and Glico’s products are snacks of a similar shape and form, and since the two firms are rivals in the same industry, it can be said that Lotte’s manufacturing and sales of the Pepero Premier may have an adverse effect on Glico’s business,” the court said.

Both are chocolate-covered biscuit sticks, and are packaged in a tall and curvy box, which has wavy edges separating the white-colored side of the box from an area of a contrasting color. Lotte said it has not decided whether it will file an appeal against the latest court decision but added that the ruling will not have any negative effects on its overall revenue. “The product in question was a limited edition lineup that had been sold ahead of Valentine’s Day last year and is currently not produced, so the court sentence is not likely to impact any of the company’s sales,” a Lotte official said.

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