Singapore retailer IUIGA has agreed to remove and cease use of references to the MUJI trademark on its marketing and promotional material, said a statement on its website and mobile application. This follows a lawsuit by Japanese household brand MUJI in March for trademark infringement after it discovered the matter in November 2018 and published a blog post clarifying that it has not authorised any usage of its name and is not responsible for third-party products.
In the statement, IUIGA said that it had previously used the phrases “MUJI Same Manufacturer” and “Direct from MUJI Manufacturer” on its website and other marketing and promotional material. However, it has decided to stop doing so in acknowledgement of the ownership by Ryohin Keikaku and MUJI Singapore of the “MUJI” trademark and "associated goodwill in Singapore", and to avoid the possibility of "causing confusion to the public".
Besides ceasing the use of MUJI’s trademark in IUIGA’s statements, the lawsuit had also demanded compensation for damages and losses. Responding to Marketing's queries, MUJI confirmed that the dispute was privately settled out of court, but it is unable to share further information due to confidential obligations under the agreement. A spokesperson added: "MUJI will continue to protect and enforce our intellectual property rights on a global basis." IUIGA has declined to comment.
In a previous statement to Marketing, IUIGA chief growth officer Jaslyn Chan said the company maintains that it has done “nothing wrong”. She added that the information on its website is “factually accurate” and its “manufacturing processes are legal”. According to the company, under the original design manufacturers (ODM) business model, design and patented technologies rights belong to ODM, allowing the ODM to produce for more than one brand. Chan also added that IUIGA has never used other brands’ tags or contact numbers in the sale of its products, despite MUJI’s claims that it had done so.
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