When you're a brand, what do you do when you find out that someone else has copied your product design? Though it may be the highest form of flattery, no doubt, it will bring on feelings of anger and frustration. And after all the hard work you've put into starting and building your brand, the last thing you want is to see that someone else has copied your product.
If this happens to you as it's happened to us with our Stöh Lunch Tote, our immediate advice is to take a deep breath and stay calm. The unfortunate reality is, if you have a great product, there will always be others who will "try" to copy what they think is great (here's where the flattery comes in). Sadly, this is the dark side of human nature and unfortunately, it happens all the time.
Should you get a patent? The USPTO defines the difference between a utility patent and a design patent in simple terms: "A “utility patent” protects the way an article is used and works, while a “design patent” protects the way an article looks." Unless you have a product so unique and inventive that it calls for a utility patent, you have a couple of options.
The first option is to spend a lot of money on a design patent but keep in mind that someone else can make a very small change in the design and, that's all it takes to make your design patent ineffective.
The second option is to take the high road, "keep calm and carry on" and focus all your energy on building up your brand with positivity and integrity. Get your brand and your brand's story out there and the truth will follow. You will thank yourself for not spending wasteful time stressing and worrying which will likely do more harm than good, spiritually and quite possibly, physically too. Well, even Louis Vuitton gets copied.
Have you ever wondered where the "Keep Calm and Carry On" story originates from? Well, it's an interesting story, so check out the video here!
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