Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trademark, Shmademark

Somehow I don't imagine that "PORCHE" is losing much sleep over this...

Anyone that has spent any time here will tell you that discipline, generally, is not terribly thick on the ground of this beautiful island.

There are seemingly endless examples of this that are visible on a daily basis, some relatively deadly (traffic and Borax treated rat meatballs spring to mind) and some benign, but annoying all the same (traffic police and meatball soup shops that don't open on time, perhaps).

I would say that the matters of trademark, copyright and patent infringement fall somewhere between these 2 poles.

In the west we tend to use the yardstick of commerce to separate the cheats from the criminals.

If you are benefiting financially from counterfeit, you are pretty solidly in the second of the two categories.

As a company owner, would I care that some kid emblazoned the name of my product all over his body/car/bike? Probably not (unless the kid was doing illegal stuff while displaying my brand).

Would I care if I learned that someone had set up a shop selling knock offs of my goods
at a price that greatly undercut the cost of the genuine article? Yeah, I might be a little pissed.

What if the problem was so systemic that items bearing absolutely no relation to my product
line, yet bearing my brand were being marketed openly in retail establishments wrapped in
professionally produced packaging also bearing my trademark complete with fake security seals and hologram stickers? Pissed AND a little awed.

Some time ago I read a great post on the Cycling Inquisition blog regarding people in Colombia "branding" their no name bikes with commercially available stickers.

This took my back to my first car, A crappy Volkswagen Beetle plastered with Porsche stickers. I completely related. God bless the resourceful Colombians and their stick-it-to-the-man-I-can-ride-a-Guericiotti-if-I-fucking-well-want-to attitude, I thought.

It's not like the group in question form a huge bloc of Guericiotti's market demographic anyways.
And then I saw them. The Cervelos...

Who the hell knows about Cervelo here? People don't follow road racing. I rarely, if ever, see anyone on a roadbike. So what's the reference?
Apart from these, Cervelo has never even built mountain bikes.

Why not BMC?

Maybe Canadians are pushovers, whereas the Swiss will find your ass and not be so neutral
in their treatment of it.

The thing that I can relate to in the Colombian example is the desire to have something
that is unattainable. That's not present with the owners of these "Cervelos". They don't
know or care what Vroomen means.

I asked one fellow why he chose this particular frame and he said, "The color is nice and
the Giant was too expensive". Fair enough.

When I asked if it mattered that it was not a real Cervelo and that Cervelo wouldn't see a
Rupiah of the sale price the response was the universally heard,"Sing Ken-Kennnn..." (Not a

Ok, whatever...I guess.
Maybe the bikes in question are meant to be a second tier fake of a fake;

But for Chrissakes, if you're going to get up early enough to lay down 2 colours, decals and
clearcoat, have enough coffee beforehand to at least spell it right...

(My apologies for the formatting of this post. I have been fooling with it the better part of an hour, but the editing does not transfer to the preview pane...)

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