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acid: anti copying in design (was re: where is the fine

updated fri 28 feb 03


John Rodgers on wed 26 feb 03

Line in imitation??)

Janet Kaiser wrote:

> Your experience of illegal copies actually hanging up next to your own
> originals must have been quite a shock, John. No wonder you went ballistic!
> IMO it is a great shame you did not "take the matter further". And
> stopping the production is not the only solution... You could, for example,
> have held out for a licensing agreement... At even a couple of cents per
> piece, it would make it worth the hassle at the very least.
> A similar thing happened to a maker here in Wales back in 1999... Tony
> White became an overnight UK success story with his Indian Running Ducks
> (as I think they were called) and was doing pretty well, until the market
> was flooded with copies.

Janet, I have learned at least one major thing from the College of Hard
Knocks, and from studying my two sons college text books on business,
and other books on marketing. There is a definite product life cycle,
and part of that cycle is the maturity period and shortly after when the
copycats get on the band wagon and begin diluting the market, with the
resulting diminishing profits for the originator. I have observed this
in many other products as well as in many of my own even though the
competition was never significant. Being one who wholesaled a great
deal, I ran into the phenomenon of store owner resistance to older
designs, even though their customers had never seen my stuff before and
thought it was wonderful. If I were operating in the millions of
dollars, it might be worth pursuing, but I am not, and frankly, my time
is better spent doing what I like rather than being spent in pursuit of
something with a very unknowable outcome. Just not worth it to me.

John Rodgers
Birmingham, AL USA