Some companies prefer to rip off rather than think about it themselves. Every year a jury denounces particularly brazen imitation products - and awards prizes. This time also to the discounter Aldi Süd.
Original product or plagiarism? Sometimes this is difficult or almost impossible for the consumer to see. Others consciously buy copies instead of branded products because they are cheaper. However, this damages the original manufacturers, who suffer from the counterfeit products - also financially.
The good news: The association "Aktion Plagiarius" makes such copies public and denounces particularly brazen product counterfeiters in an effective advertising manner. His so-called “Plagiarius”, a black dwarf with a golden nose, was given to various manufacturers on Friday.
They have imitated original products regardless of protected brands or designs. With this campaign, which is repeated for the 45th time, the association wants to encourage consumers to consciously choose the originals and thus put a stop to the counterfeiters.
The chain saw from a Chinese manufacturer was branded as the most glaring imitation of the year. She sees a product of Andreas Stihl AG from Waiblingen at first glance deceptively similar.
“Plagiarius” humiliating prize: The photo shows a chainsaw from Andreas Stihl AG (above) and the imitation of the Chinese manufacturer Hangzhou Guley Garden Machinery (below). (Source: dpa / Aktion Plagiarius eV)
The word mark “Stihl” and the protected, orange-light-gray color mark were violated. The Swabians are taking action against product pirates around the world and, according to the association, have already won eight legal proceedings against the copycat selected this time and fought for around 170.000 euros in damages.
The cheap plagiarism of a Chinese manufacturer in no way complies with the legal requirements for electrical and pressure equipment, says the jury. In addition, the electrical brake bleeding device is leaking and has incorrect labeling: "Aump" instead of "Amp" for amps. The manufacturer of the original, Manotec from Germany, is anything but enthusiastic about this copy and has infringing online offers regularly deleted.
2nd place: the original (Manotec, Germany) on the left, the plagiarism (PR China) on the right. (Source: Aktion Plagiarius eV)
The Croatian manufacturer Prostoria has registered design protection in many countries for its “Up-Lift” product line. Nevertheless, the imitator - the company Oxygen from Great Britain - copied both design and function as well as the product name of the sofa bed, so there is a risk of confusion. The inferior plagiarism not only harms the original manufacturer, but also the consumer, explain the jurors.
3rd place: the original (Prostoria, Croatia) on the left, the plagiarism (Oxygen, Great Britain) on the right. (Source: Prostoria doo)
In addition, seven equal “awards” were given, for example copies of a pastry mold, armchair, foldable dish drainer, step drill and Christmas tree stand.
This also includes a hybrid hooded cardigan from the German brand manufacturer Engelbert Strauss. The explosive: The cheaper plagiarism, which takes over the design, concept and material mix of the functional jacket almost 1: 1, is manufactured and sold by Aldi Süd.
The discounter does not see any violation of the law, but has agreed to speak to Engelbert Strauss. According to Aktion Plagiarius eV that has not happened yet.
"Award": on the left the original (Engelbert Strauss, Germany), on the right the plagiarism (Aldi Süd Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co., Germany). (Source: Aktion Plagiarius eV)
Not only high-quality consumer goods are copied. Substantial risks for consumers arise, among other things, from counterfeit medical devices, spare parts for cars or medicines.
The corona crisis offers counterfeiters additional opportunities to do so. The police organization Interpol had already warned in December against ordering vaccines on the Internet, as none of the approved vaccines are officially offered for sale online.
The abusive prize is usually awarded at the Frankfurt consumer goods fair "Ambiente", which was canceled this year due to the pandemic. Here - as at other trade fairs - counterfeit products were regularly confiscated by customs in the past.