Most people know the concept of passing off – A makes a product for sale which is intended to mimic B, an established or better brand, so that A can confuse customers enough to make them buy A’s product yet thinking they are actually buying B’s brand.
In the world of the unscrupulous (let’s not call them ingenious) the seriously lazy will go one step beyond…by performing a reverse passing off. This is where they take the established brand product – or web site information, remove the trademark or branding, possibly modify it a little to hide their tracks before selling it as their own creation. The customer thinks they are buying a different product, perhaps even being convinced they are getting higher quality than the original brand.
Chad Wayland was a student who loved his snowboarding. He was also practically minded and believed his manufactured board would go faster if he made some small personal modifications to it. He was soon doing the same thing for his friends…then their friends… and eventually for a company in Japan who found out about his skills and wanted to sell the modified boards worldwide. Unfortunately nobody had asked Slide Corporation, the manufacturer of the snowboard, if they would allow their board to be re-branded and sold this way – and they were not impressed.
Griffin Law has successfully represented clients who have faced the theft of their own products and are losing market share. Those who don’t want to invest in research and development simply watch and wait for your output so they can take the benefit of the work you’ve done by re-branding it as their own. We call that theft. Have you considered the following:
- Are you watching your market share declining due to new competitors who are without a proven track record?
- Are their products somehow mirroring your own?
- Does this involve copying of your research output and/or your database? This could give you enhanced legal remedies under the Database Regulations 1997
- We can obtain an interim injunction that will effectively shut down your rivals and can also search their records and premises for evidence of wrongdoing
Griffin Law will let the hunted become the hunter for a change…