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Kärcher wins unfair competition lawsuit against Chinese manufacturer
Having won its lawsuit against Chinese manufacturer Wenzhou Haibao for unfair competition, Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG has become one of the first German companies to be successful with such an application in China. Central to the legal dispute, which was held in the District Court in Guangzhou (Canton), were copies of Karcher's industrial compact class high-pressure cleaners.
The Court ruled that production of the pirate product must be halted and that the manufacturer must make a compensation payment to the Swabian family, which has been selling high pressure cleaners to the Chinese market since 2005.
"Our confidence in the Chinese courts and authorities has been confirmed without exception," says Hartmut Jenner, CEO of Karcher Group. "They have protected our intellectual property in its entirety. I am particularly pleased that all models in the range by an official body known as 'Famous Products' were recognised, thus facilitating the future protection of our rights."
The Swabian family-owned Company has been selling its unheated HD 5/11, HD 6/15 and HD 7/18 high pressure cleaners in China since 2005. The Courts were told that the first Haibao versions appeared three and a half years later and that they were of almost identical appearance.
Kärcher has 100 companies and 9,676 employees based in 60 countries. Its cleaning equipment is produced in Germany, Italy, Romania, the US, Brazil, Mexico and China. For a worldwide seamless service there are 50,000 service locations globally. In 2012, the company achieved record sales of 1.92 billion euros and, at 10.8 million, the highest number of units sold.
In China, the company has had a presence since 2002 with its own sales company headquartered in Shanghai, employing some 130 and working with more than 300 trading partners. Since 2004, Kärcher has been manufacturing in China in its own factory. In the past year, a new, 27,000 square metre production facility was put into operation in Changshu.
Picture shows: At first glance - almost no difference: Karcher Pressure Washer HD 6/15 C (right) and that manufactured by Wenzhou Haibao
14th February 2013