Sun World targets brand infringement and fraud on TikTok

April 17 , 2024

Global fruit company Sun World International, LLC, said Wednesday that it successfully stopped fraudulent activity on the social media platform TikTok in China.

"Recently, Sun World became aware of unauthorized individuals attempting to misrepresent the company on TikTok, falsely claiming association with Sun World and promoting fraudulent services under the guise of providing technical support for AUTUMNCRISP®, a successful and highly demanded proprietary green seedless table grape variety developed and owned by Sun World," the company said.

"In response, Sun World's legal team swiftly took action, filing a complaint with TikTok to address the fraudulent content. As a result of these efforts, TikTok promptly removed the misleading advertisements, ensuring users are protected from deceptive practices."

Sun World controls all licensing for its proprietary varieties RUBY RUSH(TM), AUTUMNCRISP®, MIDNIGHT BEAUTY®, SABLE SEEDLESS®, ADORA SEEDLESS®, and SCARLOTTA SEEDLESS®. The company aggressively pursues enforcement of its intellectual property regarding these varieties.

"Sun World maintains a zero-tolerance policy against infringement," said Michael Stimson, Sun World's General Counsel and Vice President of Intellectual Property. "We will vigorously pursue legal action against any entity that attempts to unlawfully exploit our intellectual property."

Litigation in Italy

The company also took grape growers to court in Italy this year, following a drone surveillance operation that identified unlicensed plantations of Sun World grapes.

"In each of the cases, Sun World relentlessly investigated, tracked, and pursued legal action against the infringing growers, demonstrating the company’s commitment to not only its intellectual property (IP), but also the interests of its licensed growers," the company said in March. 

Sun World gathered evidence by drone surveillance to support its arguments in court. The company found evidence of unauthorized plantations of Sugrathirtyfive, Sugranineteen, Sugrathirteen and Sugraone, all proprietary varieties of Sun World, by four growers in Apulia and Basilicata.

Chile and Peru will join together on Aug. 8, 2024, at the Global Grape Convention to be held at the Casino Monticello Events Center in Chile to discuss the biggest challenges of grapes worldwide.

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