Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two French Smile Mart copycats get one-year prison sentences

Two French Smile Mart copycats get one-year prison sentences

Motorists pass by one of the knock-off Smile Marts in Phnom Penh. Supplied
Motorists pass by one of the knock-off Smile Marts in Phnom Penh. Supplied

Two French Smile Mart copycats get one-year prison sentences

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge has sentenced two Frenchmen to a year in prison for trademark violations after the pair allegedly created a knock-off outlet of the Smile mini-mart chain.

The court sentenced Bruno Dubigeon and Thomas Herbaut on March 5. It only issued an arrest warrant, obtained on Tuesday, for Dubigeon. According to the complainant’s lawyer, Tim Sopheap, Dubigeon was an early partner of Smile Retail Group, which was founded in 2008 and has convenience stores throughout the capital.

While Sopheap declined to name his client, The Post has previously identified Kirk MacManus as the owner and founder of the firm. The client alleged the defendants had opened a store using Smile’s signage despite it not having any affiliation with the company. The defendants named their new company Smile Dragon Asia Ltd and used a very similar logo.

A man who initially identified himself as Herbaut said he was not “aware” of the conviction, before claiming the reporter had the wrong number.

Legal expert Sok Sam Oeun said it was unusual for an arrest warrant to be issued for one co-defendant but not the other.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The