Police in Yancheng, East China's Jiangsu Province, seized 1,267 fake Starbucks "cat paw cups" from four glassware factories in the city's Jianhu county, local media reported.
Starbucks released the popular "cat paw cup" in China in February, sparking a buying frenzy in the country, as there were only 4,000 sold at a price of 199 yuan ($30).
People stood in long queues overnight and even fought over the cup. Scalpers sold them at prices of up to 1,000 yuan.
The cup is a double-walled tumbler with an interior shaped like a cat's paw. When a drink is poured into it, the paw shape becomes apparent.
The company quickly released another 3,000 cups on its e-commerce platform on March 1, but they were also sold out immediately.
Local police in Yancheng received a report on the four glassware factories' illegal production of the Starbucks "cat paw cups," which is suspected of counterfeiting registered trademarks, selling pirated goods and copyright infringement. The police immediately inspected the four factories.
A total of 1,267 fake Starbucks "cat paw cups" were seized at the scene, including 4,044 unlabeled cat paw cups, 3,177 packaging boxes, 53 Starbucks labels and seven sets of molds. The case is currently under further investigation.
Producing and selling goods identical to those that have a registered trademark without permission of the trademark owner will bring legal risks, and cases of gross violation constitute crimes, according to the explanation of a prosecutor of the People's Procuratorate of Haidian district, Beijing.