Japanese household and consumer goods company Ryohin Keikaku (also known as Muji) has filed a lawsuit against Iuiga, a Singapore company, for trademark infringement, Business Insider has learned.
Speaking to Business Insider in an interview on Wednesday (Mar 6), Muji’s president Satoru Matsuzaki said that the lawsuit against Iuiga was filed with Singapore’s courts in late January.
A spokesman from Muji told Business Insider that the claim against Iuiga is for “trademark infringement and passing-off under Singapore law”.
The Japanese retail giant is seeking for orders to stop the use of the Muji trademark in Iuiga’s statements. It is also seeking compensation for damages and losses.
The Singapore firm is alleged by Muji to have used statements such as “Muji same manufacturer” and “direct from Muji manufacturer” on its e-commerce website and in its physical store.
“We requested Iuiga to disclose information on their manufacturing factories to verify their statements. However, we did not receive any response,” Muji’s spokesperson said.
The Japanese firm added that its manufacturing contractors have denied manufacturing or supplying products to Iuiga.
Muji, which is known for making label-free lifestyle products, had in late 2018 said it was investigating claims that a “third party” was able to sell items made by Muji’s contracted manufacturers.
When contacted, Iuiga’s chief growth officer Jaslyn Chan said the company “maintains that they have done nothing wrong”, adding that “the information on their website is factually accurate and their manufacturing processes are legal”.
She added that Iuiga works with “original design manufacturers”, and that there “is no direct ownership of the product by any single brand entity, allowing the original design manufacturers to produce for more than one brand”.
“This is what Iuiga means when they say a certain product is from the “same manufacturer as Brand A,” she said.
She also denied that the brand used another brand’s tags or contact numbers in the sale of its products.
“As clarified for all of Iuiga’s products, the design rights belong to (the) manufacturer and they are free to work with any other brand. As such, Iuiga is not infringing on design or product rights,” she said.