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Hansgrohe won the case against Joyou

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11 January 2012
At a closed court session the claim of the German manufacturer of sanitary products Hansgrohe AG against a Chinese company Joyou Group Building Materials Co., Ltd. was considered.
Chinese brassware manufacturer Joyou, which is currently being acquired by German manufacturer Hansgrohe via a voluntary public tender offer, has become a recipient of the infamous Plagiarius prize after one of its taps was deemed a copy of a Hansgrohe mixer.
The negative awards have been presented by Action Plagiarius annually since 1977 to companies that the jury finds guilty of making ‘the most flagrant design imitations’.
Joyou’s JY 00121 basin mixer was judged to be a copy of Hansgrohe’s Focus S basin mixer. Hansgrohe says that, appearance-wise, the two taps are nearly impossible to distinguish, but that in terms of functionality they are vastly different. It estimates the annual damage caused by product piracy at five to 10% of total sales.
“This means the creation of new jobs at Hansgrohe – and we are talking a sizable number here, around 100 jobs – is being prevented as a result of these pirated products,” says Richard Grohe, deputy chairman of Hansgrohe.
“Theft of intellectual property hurts the economy and causes job losses.”
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