They copied my product & design, now what?

It’s hard enough to stand out in a crowded marketplace. But when someone steals your work and profits from it, that makes it even harder. This is why we are committed to helping brands protect their original creations by ensuring they have proper protections and agreements in place before their products get copied.

What is product and design plagiarism?

Product and design plagiarism is the act of copying an original work, or imitating an original work. It can also include:

  • Copying of original work without proper attribution or permission. This includes any unauthorized use of images, logos, trademarks or other intellectual property belonging to another person or company – yes even cutlery! If you’re unsure about whether something is protected by copyright law and whether you need permission from its creator before using it in your own products/designs.
  • Imitating an original product/design without proper attribution or permission. If someone else has created a similar product/design first (and they have not licensed its use), then yours will be considered imitative under U.S. law if it resembles theirs so closely as to create confusion among consumers as to which came first or produced by whom

One of the most common types of product and design plagiarism is art theft.

One of the most common types of product and design plagiarism is art theft, where an artist does not have any recognition or compensation for their work. Artists and creators around the world are often victims of this type of plagiarism. Art theft represents a growing problem in today’s creative industries because it is difficult to detect, and the original creators may not even know they have been robbed of their intellectual property.

Artists can be left without any legal recourse when their designs are stolen and reproduced by others without permission or payment for the use of their work. This leaves consumers vulnerable as well: if you purchase an item that has been copied from another artist’s original design without permission from that artist then you could be supporting someone who steals from others rather than creating new works themselves!

How prevalent is product and design plagiarism and what is the cost?

Product and design plagiarism is a big problem. We found that 11% of products on Pinterest were directly copied from other existing products.

The financial cost of product plagiarism can vary widely depending on the specific case and the actions taken by the affected parties. In some cases, it may involve minimal legal fees for cease and desist letters. However, in other cases, it can result in long and costly legal battles, including damages and settlements.

Additionally, businesses may also incur costs related to recalling or rebranding products that have been found to be plagiarized, as well as lost sales and damage to their reputation. For individual designers and creative professionals, plagiarism can result in lost income and potential damage to their reputation, which can also have a financial impact.

What can we do? Creators can educate themselves about their rights and the various strategies available to protect their work

  1. Protect your work with a copyright: Registering your work with the relevant copyright office is a legally recognized way to protect your designs from being copied without permission.
  2. Keep detailed records: Maintain accurate and detailed records of your design process, including sketches, drafts, and final versions. This can serve as evidence if you need to take legal action against someone for copying your work.
  3. Educate yourself about design protection laws: Learn about the laws and regulations surrounding design protection in your country. This knowledge can help you understand what actions you can take to protect your work.
  4. Use watermarks and signature marks: Placing a watermark or signature mark on your designs can serve as a deterrent for potential plagiarists, as well as provide evidence that the design is your original work.
  5. Network with others in your field: Building relationships with other designers and staying informed about industry news and trends can help you identify instances of plagiarism and take appropriate action. Additionally, sharing your own work within a professional network can increase visibility and help establish your designs as original and unique.

We hope this article has helped you understand the problem of product and design plagiarism, and given you some ideas on how to deal with it. If you have any questions on how we protect your designs while developing new products – we’d be happy to share specific measures we have instituted since 1997.