Uniqlo recently held a T-shirt design contest for their upcoming line of Pokemon shirts. Chinese artist Li Wen Pei had won the contest, but it seems that he broke some rules, forcing both Uniqlo and the Pokemon Company to disqualify his work.
The T-shirt design was supposed to appear as in-game apparel in the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield games. Unfortunately, the Pokemon Company is pulling that one as well. The prizes, which include US$10,000 in cash, would go to another design instead. In a statement, the apparel brand said “Uniqlo will not award the Grand Prize to another entrant or sell merchandise feature the designs.”
They did not reveal what rule the design specifically broke, but it seems that Wen Pen had used this design for commercial purposes before, It seems that the artist had previously sold some phone cases with the artwork on it. This was against one of the rules which states “Uniqlo may withdraw prizes and/or terminate merchandising of t-shirts with Winning Artworks without prior notice to an entrant, irrespective of the originality of the Artwork submitted by the entrant, if similar artwork is already publicly available from outside Uniqlo stores”.