It is no secret that China has a huge market for selling cheap knockoffs of officially licensed merchandise. It is also no secret that China as of late has been looking for ways to infiltrate Japan’s anime/hentai market and to co-opt its IP’s for their personal gain.
News has come to light that a Chinese company, that goes by the name of Shenzhen Guangcai Trading Co. Ltd., has filed a trademark over the word “Ahegao” in the U.S. while profiting off of stolen artwork, from artist Victim_Girls, in an apparent attempt to gain control over the market. Their plan is to sell their cheap knockoffs while trying to force FAKKU, the largest English hentai publisher in the world, to stop selling their official merchandise. The patent itself was filed by the company back in 2018. The founder and CEO of FAKKU, Jacob Grady, has come out on twitter and stated that they will contest this claim.
The term “Ahegao” commonly known as “O-Face” is a Japanese slang word for the exaggerated facial expressions used during an orgasm. This type of style is mainly depicted in hentai, erotic manga, and eroge (Japanese erotic video games).
As a result, both Western and Japanese fans have come out in droves to show their support for FAKKU.
One Japanese twitter user pointed out that the same Chinese company may have also registered another trademark for “Ahegao” in Japan as well.
This incident comes off the heels of FAKKU having announced that they have now become apart of what has been dubbed the “Too Hot For Amazon” movement, by announcing that they too had titles recently removed by Amazon along side others like J-Novel Club, and Yen Press. Not many people know about this incident cause the companies main account is shadow banned on twitter.All we can do at this point is wait and see how this situation will continue to evolve over the coming months. Until then be careful everyone and make sure your product is from an official source.