Is it an opportunistic business outside the law? Is it a coincidence? Is it an imitation of “Kimetsu no Yaiba” or a pattern that should be free to use? A high-level court ruling has come down on whether products with a green and black check pattern are imitations of Kimetsu no Yaibaspecifically the outfit Tanjiro Kamado.
Kimetsu no Yaiba It is set in the Taisho era (1912-1926) and tells the story of the main character, a boy named Tanjiro Kamado, who fights demons with his companions. A total of 150 million copies of the twenty-three volume manga have been sold, and the anime and film have become international box office hits, creating a social phenomenon.
Costumes that represent each character, such as the green and black haori worn by the main character, also became very popular.but a company that imports and sells general goods and its president were charged with violating the Law for the Prevention of Unfair Competition sold products that were confused, since they were similar to those of Kimetsu no Yaiba.
Seriously approximately 800 products were soldincluding green and black hoodies, a pink backpack, and a towel with the word “滅” (Metsu)which is part of the title of the work. These products were sold between 2020 and 2021 and are estimated to have generated sales of more than 1.6 billion yen (more than $11.7 million).
A point of contention in the legal process was the line being drawn as to whether such products were in fact an unauthorized copy. Kimetsu no Yaiba. The IS prosecution noted: “Both the manga and the anime were very successful, so many consumers would think it was an official Kimetsu no Yaiba product because they associate the pattern printed on the product.“. On the other hand, the protecting noted: “Kimetsu no Yaiba is impossible to identify except by a pattern printed on something“.
The sentence was given on 16 December sentence the president of the general goods import and sale company to two years in prison, suspended for five years, and to pay a fine of 3 million yen (about 22 thousand dollars). The company was also ordered to pay a fine of 5 million yen (about 36 thousand dollars). [Cabe recordar que la “prisión suspendida” implica que no irá a prisión, pero que cualquier delito adicional terminará por activar la sentencia].
The reasons behind the sentence were described as “use clever and cunning tactics to gain popularity and increase sales“Y”which could not have happened if specific colors and a specific pattern were not chosen from the many options“. Naturally, the sentence drew comments in comment forums, highlighting that:
- «1.6 billion yen in sales, and only 3 million were fined».
- «If it was just a checkered design, you could get away with it, but if you combine it with Japanese characters, you’re out of the game.».
- «What was the reed that made the mannequin hold and stand with a sword?».
- «If it was only the checkered design, he could have gone away with it, but he got greedy and had other character designs, there was no helping him.».
- «I wonder what other things will now be part of the Kimetsu no Yaiba brand».
- «Is this a joke? You should immediately challenge it in a higher court».
- «It’s not the man’s fault that people are so manipulative».
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