After one year of investigation in France, Equivalenza European, the Spanish parent company of the chain, is now charged by French justice with counterfeiting of perfume trademark for use of the correlation tables. The chain distributes its products in 750 stores throughout fifteen countries.
As a follow-up to the case filed by FEBEA (the French Federation for Fragrance, Cosmetics and Toiletries) in 2014 and the investigation lead by the French Gendarmerie, Loïc Gautier, representing the Equivalenza chain in France had already been charged on July 3rd last with counterfeiting of perfume trademarks, as a result of the use and communication to franchisees resellers of "correlation tables".
According to the FEBEA, the correlation tables represent a form of counterfeiting, quite specific to perfumery. This practice actually consists in offering for sale a perfume which bears any name, sometimes even a number, associating it through correlations or equivalences, to a branded perfume to which this product is supposed to correspond (with regard to smell, fragrance). From a legal viewpoint, the correlation tables practice constitutes an offence of counterfeiting, usurpation and unlawful use of another’s trademark, provided for and punished in most Jurisdictions.
Equivalenza contested the use of correlation tables and said the legal action is an attempt from competitors to attack an "innovative business model".