I’ve always been fascinated* with the concept of the lookalike packaging of “house brands” or private labels, which are usually priced a good one-third cheaper than the most popular version of the same product sitting right next to the house-brand version on the shelf. Sometimes they’re more or less the same thing, as in the case of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Sometimes, though, there are serious quality and, in the case of food, taste differences between the real thing and the store brand in the similar, clearly allusive packaging.
And I’m not the only one interested in this topic. Yet people who are little more than strangers have asked us about whether or not copycat packing like this is “allowed.” (Why strangers? It’s a kind of magnetism I have, the way some people are just always being stopped by people who need directions. But I digress.)
Indeed, I blogged about a development in this area earlier this year, in which the Third Circuit Court of Appeals said, well, no, that kind of copying is not really allowed, and if you push it we just might have to pull this car over and come back there and then you will most assuredly be sorry.
So unwinding after a hard day of what I do here, I followed a link to James Lileks’s blog from Instapundit, and couldn’t but be struck — given my … unusual … interest in this topic — by this picture, and James’s unusual and, as ever, brilliant presentation (emphasis added) of the presentation:† Read More…