Under Armour, the sportswear brand based in Baltimore, faces competition from a Chinese brand who is very lax about respecting intellectual property.
They say the sincerest form of flattery is imitation, but brands such as Under Armour, Inc. seem to be tired of such compliments.
The Chinese copycat is called Uncle Martian, and the resemblance of its brand identity with Under Armour's is striking.
For one thing, the two companies have really similar logos. Uncle Martian's features an inverted U sitting below a stylized letter U. However, the letters in the copycat brand do not intersect.
China's online medium reacted swiftly to the blatant copyright infringement. Thanks to a myriad of consumers who put more value on quality than on quantity, the rollout of the copycat brand saw skepticism instead of standing ovations. More and more Chinese citizens can afford to purchase global brands, which makes the local market less friendly to cheap imitations.
A Weibo user that uses the "Diving Watcher" handle chastised Uncle Martian for its business practices.
"[...] All you do is plagiarize, don't you feel it's disgusting?" the user asks.
It seems that the enterprise behind Uncle Martian is an apparel manufacturer in Fujian Province, located in southeastern China. The New York Times attempted in vain to contact Tingfei Long Sporting Goods in order to get a statement.
Chinese companies have a history in banking on popular brands from overseas.
A few years ago, some entrepreneurs from the country opened a faux Apple store in one provincial city, complete with the iconic logo and all. Reports on unauthorized Apple shops have been looming in 2015, as well. Those familiar with KFC will rub their eyes in disbelief when gazing upon the logo of fast-food chain Yonghe King, due to the uncanny similitude.
Last year, Michael Jordan filed a legal action against Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear brand that manufactures products similar to the Air Jordan line, belonging to Nike. For the non-Chinese speaking readers out there, Qiaodan is a rough translation of "Jordan." What is more, the firm placed the iconic number 23 on its products.
"Uncle Martian's uses of Under Armour's famous logo, name and other intellectual property are a serious concern and blatant infringement," Under Armour's spokesperson says.
The company notes that all legal and business courses of action are in tow to settle the matter.