Chinese counterfeits of AXOR Starck V and hansgrohe Metris Classic awarded
In 2017 “Plagiarius”, the negative award for blatant plagiarism, went to copies of Hansgrohe SE mixers, among others. The product pirates attracted attention with their counterfeits of the hansgrohe Metris Classic basin mixer and the AXOR Starck V mixer fountain – made in China. Each February the initiative, which was set up by professor of design Rido Busse, presents the awards that nobody wants to receive at the Frankfurt consumer goods trade fair “Ambiente”. This year, the jury awarded ten out of 27 entries. The award winners for 2017 will be presented at the Museum Plagiarius in Solingen after the trade fair.
Hansgrohe takes resolute action to combat plagiarism
“It's always the brands and products that are particularly successful on the market which are imitated or copied”, emphasised Carmen Vetter, Head of Intellectual Property Rights at Hansgrohe SE. “The fact that this award raises awareness of the importance of proprietary rights, even in China, and strengthens our position, will hopefully send a very clear message. In any case, Hansgrohe will continue to be relentless in its fight against plagiarism and will employ legal means to do so if necessary - in Europe, as well as in China and the rest of the world,” added Vetter.
Hansgrohe estimates that its annual losses from plagiarism are between five and ten percent of the total turnover. “In other words, plagiarism harms the economy and costs jobs”, said Carmen Vetter.
The consumers are the ones who lose out
At first glance, it is virtually impossible for consumers to tell the difference between the original product and the counterfeit. “However”, explained Carmen Vetter, “our original product offers significantly more features, and therefore provides consumers with far greater overall benefits than the counterfeit product. Consumers are therefore clearly at a disadvantage if they choose the imitation product”, added the Head of the Intellectual Property Rights division. Hansgrohe SE’s systematic clamping down on product piracy therefore also serves to safeguard the interests of the customers.