Friday, December 03, 2010

ripp-off update

Throughout the last 2 days many ripp-offs (from exact to modified copies) that happened to other designers came to my notice (thanks to you, dear readers telling me about other cases), that I almost can´t believe how hard-boiled some companies are, when stealing designs and claiming them as their own. "Hide and seek" called it they "suck the blood of a small independent artist" and I think that´s exactly what they do.

I want to give some update to the DPAM viking prints:

It´s more than 2 weeks ago that I wrote my first email to DPAM (Svea told me, they are really big and have worldwide shops), asking for some statement. I also sent a second note, but I have not recieved any response yet.
So I talked to a lawyer, asking what I could do in this case and his résumé is kind of frustrating. For some legal action I would have to take lots of money. Although designs are protected by intellectual property rights (copyright), it gets difficult if somebody steals it and makes some modifications, like DPMA did.
The lawyers advice was better to ignore this case, than taking the risk of paying high court bills .....

I asked him what I could do, to protect my designs better from being ripped off.

Something I might think about for the future (and this is maybe something interesting for some of you as well),  is:
registered design (eingetragenes Geschmacksmuster).
Snag: this is only possible for new designs, if you use your design since years, it´s no option,
and it is also no real protection for being copied.
Unique items, which differ from one to another seem to be difficult to register, as description of a registered design needs to be exact and does not allow much variation.

Alltogether not a very satisfying answer.
After much debating and mulling over, at the moment it seems there is nothing I can do.

If somebody still has an idea, I´d be very grateful to hear. THANK YOU!


Rita said...

Hello! I love your work!
Have you talked to Hannah at Knick Knacks and Ric Rac?
< >
I remember her posting about the same thing a while ago, maybe she has some advice for you?
I hope it works out well for you!

Lunacy said...

Hm..das ist wirklich frustrierend. Hab mir ja schon gedacht, dass es sicher sehr teuer werden würde, wenn du die verklagen würdest. Ist wirklich nicht so einfach in der Welt des Copyrights, alles richtig zu machen. Vielleicht hat ja doch noch jemand eine Idee, wie du mit der französischen Firma verfahren sollst und für die Zukunft wünsche ich dir, dass sich niemand an deinen Designs mehr bedient.
LG und ein schönes 2. Adventwochenende

kellyi said...


I adore your work - my son is saving hard to buy a Viking!

I do have an idea, but not an orthodox one - I thought of starting a "blog of shame" as a central place to log all of the rip offs, and to see if there is one or two major if a dozen or so independent artisans are all being copied by one large retailer, you could be made aware and join forces?

What do you think of this idea?

herzensart said...

Hi Rita, thank you for sending a link to Hannah.

Hallo Anja, dank Dir! Ich wünsche Dir auch einen schönen 2.Advent. Mann ist das kalt im Moment, oder?

Hi Kellyi, I´m happy to hear your son loves my vikings :) I found a blog called "you thought we wouldn´t notice"
I think this is what you are also had in mind.

Anonymous said...

I think you should post the email address of the company and we can all contact them to let them know that we support small designers, ask them to remove the copied designs and confirm that we won't be shopping with them, and will recommend that our families and friends don't either. If they get a few letters like that, they might act, or at the very least might think twice before doing it again.