David, Brody & Dondershine, LLP Experienced General Business Law Attorneys
2100 Reston Parkway, Suite 370
Reston, VA 20191

Christmas knock-off gifts can hurt brands

The holiday season, now in its prime, is often a windfall for businesses. Many people are in the mood to shop, whether for their loved ones or themselves. Shoppers have hunted the best discounts and sales during December, boosting sales, but can also increase the amount of knock-off products on the market.

Particularly for popular toys or luxury goods, faulty replicas can damage a brand’s image and decrease profits. Parents could search for a toy without knowing which brand produces the item the child wants, leading to an off-brand disappointment. Online shops can be filled with fake makeup palettes, poorly constructed sneakers and cheap purses with a designer logo simply sewn onto the lining.

Fake products reflect poorly on the brands they impersonate. Customers who don’t realize that their gift is a knock-off might think that quality issues come from your manufacturer. Resulting losses can occur as they refuse to buy your product and perhaps spread word about how awful it is, even though they aren’t aware that it isn’t true.

Intellectual property law exists to protect companies from these problems, but the rules are very intricate. Some companies change enough aspects to claim that their product is distinct enough. A highly skilled lawyer will be able to argue against this claim and show that a company is suffering from customer confusion.

Perhaps the one good thing that can come from these phonies is a laugh. The Daily Mail recently posted a photo gallery of ridiculous knock-off gifts. The differences between the legitimate products and these imitations are very clear.

However, this is a serious offense and you likely won’t be laughing if it happens to you. If you find out that a company has ripped off your product, you can consult with a Virginia lawyer about your intellectual property case. Copyright infringement can destroy a company and it isn’t safe to assume customers will always be able to tell the difference.

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