Trademarks are Not Only For Famous Brands

    Famous Bubble Tea Slurred Over Stomachache Caused By 7,000 Fake Stores

    Previously, The Alley famous bubble tea had set the internet alight after revealing that they have never produced the pre-packed DIY bubble tea bearing their logo and false Trademark which may contain harmful ingredients. How it all started?

    Beware of the pre-packed DIY The Alley bubble tea 

    The Alley bubble tea fans always find the line slowly snaking towards the counter. However, if you think you can skip the queue by buying the canned boba drink, you are making a big mistake!

    Apparently, the counterfeit bubble tea is being sold for RM5.90 at supermarkets in Petaling Jaya and Melaka. Counterfeit bubble tea can also be found on various local e-commerce platforms up until now. 

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    Not only the counterfeit canned bubble tea bearing the Alley’s logo and false Trademark, but also sold in three different flavors namely “peach oolong milk tea”, “black sugar milk tea”, and “matcha milk tea”. The pre-packed bubble tea consists of four ingredients that you may find in the actual drink that includes the boba pearls which are packed separately. 

    Source : The Alley Malaysia

    Counterfeit products are often manufactured under poor and unhygienic conditions. Consumers are advised to beware of counterfeit products as they may contain dangerous and harmful ingredients which can cause serious adverse effects and potentially lead to serious overdosing or poisoning.

    The response from The Alley

    In April 2019, The Alley posted a reminder on its official social media to notify its consumers of the counterfeit bubble tea being sold in Malaysia. The Alley has since denied that the products are theirs and stated that they’ve never produced canned bubble tea.

    The Alley Instagram

    In a press conference held on 7 May 2019, Diagon Alley Sdn Bhd, which is the sole and authorized brand holder of The Alley in Malaysia, issued a statement addressing this issue after receiving complaints of stomach ache from several consumers who had consumed this fake product.

    “We want to make it clear that counterfeit Alley products are not our product, and we have no relationship whatsoever with the product or the people responsible for it. The counterfeit products may be dangerous and harmful to the health of the general public.” 

    “We have since issued cease and desist letters to numerous retailers and we will not hesitate to take further action until the sale of counterfeit products are no longer on sale.”

    Trademark is not only for brands when it gets famous

    This was how it all started..

    The Alley LuJiaoXiang rapidly gained popularity for its sensational delectable bubble tea. This has brought The Alley to successfully expanded 114 branches across the big cities in China. To ensure the brand exclusively remain as theirs, the owner finally decided to file for Trademark protection in 2017. But things were not as easy as they may seem. If only they had known that there were 860 Trademark applications pending for “The Alley”, the owner might have considered filing for protection much earlier. After multiple reviews and rejections, The Alley was finally granted Trademark protection in 2019. 

    However, during the process of registering a Trademark, it gave enough time for 7,000 fake stores to operate businesses bearing their brands and selling counterfeit products. The famous bubble tea mushroomed with fake shops hindering the business for many years. The Alley was hampered with numerous complaints due to the deterioration of quality and taste which leads to stomach ache. The business reportedly lost ¥13.4 million. The circumstances had left The Alley with no choice but to compensate an additional ¥100 million to combat the counterfeit operation. This includes the removal of signboards and cracking the of counterfeit goods.

    Having said the above, it is best to protect your brand as soon as you start your business to avoid any other party riding on your brand and goodwill.

    This article is brought to you by Exy IP PTE. LTD.

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