Don't be duped by dupes

Article  \  4 Mar 2024

Duplicate products, or dupes as they're commonly known, are an increasingly popular phenomenon both in New Zealand and globally, with social media influencers and online content creators, coupled with the cost of living crisis, helping to amplify their popularity.

As well as raising concerns about whether these cheaper products could be causing over-consumption, or undercutting small businesses, there is also the question of whether dupes might fall foul of intellectual property considerations. As AJ Park Principal Paul Johns explained to 1News in this interview.

At one end, perhaps at the more legal end, there are products that are simply competing. That achieve the same effect or work in the same way but have a different name.

Further along the spectrum there are perhaps more look-alike products, where not only does the product have the same effect, but it's packaged in a similar way and might have a similar sounding name, but not the same name.

Then at the far end, the definitely unlawful end, would be the counterfeits where it's an exact copy of the original product, including using the same products, the same brand names, and it's likely to be inferior in those circumstances.

As the trend looks set to continue, businesses must ensure they take appropriate steps to protect their brands, and be mindful of other businesses' existing IP rights when producing competing products. If you need help protecting or enforcing your IP, or in the commercialistion of your ideas, reach out to one of our experts.


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