Knock, knock!

Who’s there!

Your knockoff!

I knockoff who?

You knockoff yourself!

No, don’t worry — it’s not so bad that LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® is about to invite you to play Mafia Wars.  (Or something like it.)  No, rather, it’s like this, as Susan Scafidi explains:

Smart creators, whether in IP-protected fields or not, have a few more tools in the box and tricks up their sleeves, including one that I’ve frequently discussed:  Knock yourself off — before the other guys do!

In the fashion industry, those auto-knockoffs are more elegantly known as “diffusion lines.”  Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t.  Well-capitalized designers like Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani have created whole families of brands, with loyal clients at every level and plenty of crossover customers who may splurge or scrimp, depending on the occasion. . . .

Now a t-shirt company in Johannesburg has taken the idea one step further.  Love Jozi didn’t merely create a diffusion line, which wouldn’t make much sense for just t-shirts anyway — they secretly created a counterfeit line.  Or so it seemed for a couple of years, until they finally revealed their marketing scheme to the press.  The ostensibly fake “Luv Jozi” t-shirts that had been selling briskly on street corners and in dodgier flea markets weren’t made-in-China knockoffs at all — they were deliberately misspelled imitations, complete with a fake website and marketing.

Going up

Is this ironic irony, postmodern modernism, sino-dadaism or just a very clever way to undermine your own intellectual property rights?

Either way I must admit, I too love, love, love it!

Originally posted 2010-06-08 15:23:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

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