Patents and copies


It’s very common to find the newest gadget in China at an exhibition but copied and for much less money than the brand sells it for. Stay away from these!

First of all you could get in trouble when you order a sample and customs picks it up. You could end up paying a fine or worse.

Second, if you do receive the sample and you try to sell it in your store or website, the actual owner of the design can sue you in a lawsuit if he finds out. This could end up being very costly and it’s simply not worth it.

There are ways around it such as a slight modification from the patent, but it’s still very risky and not worth it.

I remember when Dyson came out with their cool ventilator/fans and vacuum cleaners: http://www.dyson.com/fans-and-heaters/cooling-fans.aspx

A few months later they were everywhere in China. And a year later I recall there were at least three big retailers who bought these copies and had them in their stores. They should have known better. Dyson filed lawsuits, and the retailers had to pay a fine and remove all the items from their shops. Not only were their profits and investment gone, they also had to pay a fine and had their name slammed in the newspapers.


This goes in hand with the copies. Many designs have patents and again you shouldn’t touch these items or try to find a way around the patent. Some suppliers will tell you that they have modified the product so that they don’t conflict with the patent. Oh they are so wrong!

If you do buy a modified design and the supplier tells you that there won’t be any problems, stay away. He just wants you to place an order to earn a quick buck, but if there is a lawsuit against you I am sure your supplier won’t be found anywhere. Read more on patents on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent


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