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Image source: llaollao Malaysia & II.Ia.Io Malaysia
Image source: llaollao Malaysia & II.Ia.Io Malaysia

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Rip-off or not: Malaysians identify a copycat brand of Spanish frozen dessert brand ‘llaollao’ on the first day of its launch

A newly open dessert store in Malaysia is being blamed for copying the whole concept of a frozen store franchise that operates in the country.

II.Ia.Io, a Malaysian small business that specialises in frozen yogurt, recently opened its first outlet to compete with llaollao, a Spanish frozen yoghurt desert chain that operates in the nation.

As soon as the new store opened its doors to customers and announced it on social media with photos of the store and products, Malaysian fans of the original brand swarmed the store’s social pages accusing them of deliberately attempting to copy llaollao’s business model.

II.Ia.Io didn’t stop at copying the brand name; it also has a very similar product offering, including the same toppings as well as the shape of cups and spoons.

In fact, some fans thought llaollao had changed the colour of its logo.

It’s not only small firms or individuals that indulge in copying others’ work - some large companies too knowingly or unknowingly copy others’ creations. When Facebook changed its logo to match its name “Meta”, the new logo looked exactly like the logo of M-sense Migräne, a German start-up. The latter responded by posting a clever tweet saying that they were honoured that “Facebook felt inspired by the logo” of their migraine app and maybe they will be inspired by their “data privacy procedures” as well.

Similarly, when llaollao Malaysia became aware of the issue, the franchise owner responded by sharing a photoshopped meme of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. Smith's head was photoshopped with a llaollao cup image, and the latter was dubbed the copycat.

llaollao is a registered trademark in Malaysia, but II.Ia.Io. is not. While the debate may be a short-lived internet moment, it remains to be seen whether llaollao will file a copyright infringement suit against the store.

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Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Partner (+65) 6223 2249

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