I often wonder where you draw the line when a product is said to be ’INSPIRED BY’ or when it is an outright ME-TOO copycat. Is being ‘INSPIRED BY’ just an excuse to copy? Or could it just be an innocent coincidence when designers have had totally separate eureka moments independently at different times?! Moreover, what is the point of all these intellectual properties and copyrights when one is not in a position to execute? It does boil down to a question of power and leverage in the end.
China and the chinese are almost always steretyped to be copycats especially when it comes to Gucci and Louis Vuitton handbags. Not a surprise. But there is another dark side yet to be explored and investigated when big European luxury houses fall short of creative juices and fall into the trap of me-too products. Is this a fact or a fallacy?
A recent sighting — Niche Paris-based fine and fashion jewellery brand, HEDONE ROMANE’s Touch Me Not earrings in 18k white gold released in 2006 versus the historical Italian luxury fashion house, VERSACE’s rhodium-plated ripple hoop earrings released in 2010. Oops! Is this a jewellery faux pas? The resemblance is rather striking. You tell me. Hedone Romane says the white gold earrings were being sold at Le Bon Marche in Paris and later in Kabiri in Selfridges in London at 2000€ to 3000€ when the piece came out 4 years ago. On the hand, Versace’s version is only rhodium-plated brass version is now selling at only 162€ at Net-a-porter.com.
Is this a violation of copyrights and intellectual property? Who is the trendsetter? Where is the creation? I’m sure there are many more similar stories if I dig deeper. Yet another typical problematic most small brands encounter when their designs are unknown to the vast majority without a sizeable communications budget and are left with limited protection without an army of lawyers to send to battle. Most rationally or irrationally decide to take it gracefully as flattery!