Beats sues Chinese counterfeiters:The hour of Chinese Copycat Has Come?

by Frank Tu 2




If you work at China World Trade Center, don’t forget to buy a “noodle headset” near the subway when you get home from work. Otherwise, you might have no chance to buy the fake beats in a few days.

July 11,  Appleinsider disclose  renowned headphone manufacturer Beats who has recently been acquired by Apple Inc. just took judicial proceedings against hundreds of fake headphone factories in China, asking them to stop tout and recoup pecuniary loss and further raising the claim to forfeiture relevant counterfeit manufactures’ domain name websites.

Above news received extensive attention in the U.S. One local television station in America even wrote, in the tone of the founder of Beats Doctor Dre, “Every year I get ripped off for billions of dollars by those Chinese guys.”  At the same time,this news went viral in Chinese social medias.  Some profoundly believe this could be an action of Beats’ paying attention to intellectual property while some others frivolously think that as Apple’s plan to earn the 32 billion spent in acquiring Beats back.

2▲Figure   American news report

In fact, it never climbed to the height of corporation strategy, whose essence turned out to be that desperate Chinese copycat manufacturers resorted to barefaced ways which disrupt others’ wealth directly, no wonder their been uprooted! This could not be the hour of copycat Beats headsets, but also the funeral of the whole copycat culture.

Chinese counterfeiters was definitely the hot topc in Chinese science and technology communities and even in the whole Chinese society during the years of 2008 and 2009. Chinese counterfeiters largely seemed to be the only way for made-in-China to turn over. Right in a time, financial and technology tycoons all published books and opened programs to stand for Chinese counterfeiters culture, which provided authoritative enough and obscure enough explanations for it, for example, as the one I found, “Chinese counterfeiter culture refers to those sub-cultural mass culture phenomena that revolt against authority and against main stream, and that are characterized by carnival-orientation, deconstruction, anti-rationality and postmodernism.

3▲Figure  Chinese counterfeiters can be a study case in China

However,  counterfeiters are not such complex things by its nature, which originated from plagiarism and imitation, whose summit was “spoof-type creation”. This pattern born with stealing values and profit-chasing views never ever carries with it a gene for a thorough reformation.  Counterfeiters lives for their different and fisting qualities from surface, yet it stands only through the low-price policy. The reason why knock off phones are on best-seller lists is attributed by those keen on buying cheap things, nothing to do with so-called design. Once the genuine products reduce their prices to those of the fake, copycat innovation becomes defenseless.

When Chinese counterfeiters give their fig leaf of innovation up, they become totally fake products. Take fake Beats headphone for an instance; it is in accordance with the genuine product, from the style to appearance design. More brazenly, the fake one is printed with the exclusive Beats trade mark.

4▲Figure There’s little difference between genuine and fake Beats headphone

Market of counterfeit Beats, with low prices as the most attraction, just like that of counterfeit phones at first, was for underdeveloped three or four line markets in China. That did no great harm to Beats’ profit, for targeted consumers of the two markets are quite different. Those anxious to by $1 cheap headphone are not the potential users of Beats at all, and stylish youths hanging out in Fashion certainly know where to buy a sincere headset.

5▲Figure Beats sale on Platform Bridge is weak compared with Beats sale on train

Nevertheless, counterfeit product manufacturers started to sell fake products directly in American market, which caused serious results. As is written in Beats’ lawsuit, “This action has been filed by Beats to combat online counterfeiters who trade upon Beats’ reputation and goodwill by selling and/or offering for sale unlicensed and counterfeit products featuring Beats’ trademarks,” according to the lawsuit. “The Defendants create the Defendant Internet Stores by the hundreds or even thousands and design them to appear to be selling genuine Beats products, while actually selling low-quality Counterfeit Beats Products to unknowing consumers.”

Search on the Ebay, and you will find lots of Chinese sellers dedicated to sell copycat headphone by hitting “edge balls”. A genuine headphone originally cost $79.99, while a counterfeit one only cost $2.99.

6 7▲Figure  Huge price gap between genuine and fake Beats

It is just the case with KFC and Chew Fried Chicken (pronounced similar to Kentucky in Chinese). At very beginning, the whole world recognizes CFC as a faker and KFC won’t pay much attention. Yet one day, CFC pretends to be KFC, trying to sell its shoddy chicken nuggets to passers-by. Under such circumstances, KFC will certainly turn to Industrial and Commercial Bureau and sue CFC.


Beats took a similar lawsuit in 2003 where the court determined 1472 domain names, 50 PayPal accounts and 14 “online sales accounts” should be forfeited. The statistics will be more staggering in the recent lawsuit. Anyhow, it is believed to cause severe shocks to copycat headphones and we hope it to be the last straw that breaks the chain of fake production and sale.

Counterfeit products go to where they are today, having only itself to blame, deserving decent despise, and doomed to be destroyed.