The audacious imitation of existing products has been awarded the famous “Schmähpreis” by “Aktion Plagarius e.V.” since 1977. Bruder Spielwaren GmbH also received the “Plagarius” award in January of this year.

In the autumn of last year, Bruder Spielwaren was affected by a counterfeit with the “Liebherr wheel loader”. This was submitted to the jury and received the negative prize “Plagarius” as one of ten other fakes. The award was presented for the 43rd time at the consumer goods fair “Ambiente” in February.

Plagarius to raise public awareness of product and brand piracy

“The “Plagiarius” award says nothing about whether a counterfeit product is legally allowed or illegal. The Plagiarius campaign cannot speak any law. However, it may draw attention to injustice. Before the annually changing jury selects the winners, the alleged plagiarisers are informed of their nomination and given the opportunity to comment. In addition to case-related information, these reactions are also included in the evaluation if they are made. The jury is not interested in branding legal competition products that are visually and technically independent,” according to a current press release of the association.

Liebherr wheel loaders from Bruder Spielwaren included in this year’s award ceremony

The fact that the “Liebherr wheel loader” was honoured by Bruder with the “Plagiarius” is only indirectly pleasing Managing Director Paul Heinz Bruder; the cynicism remains: “Unfortunately, it must be said, that the prize is always an opportunity to draw attention to product piracy and counterfeiting. The fact that we have been considered for the seventh time since 2004 is not to a certain extent an honour: It seems to be worthwhile counterfeiting brother models.”

In a recent press release, Bruder complains above all about the bad materials and the bad working conditions of the counterfeiters. “Whoever pirates products,” says Bruder, “and are they confusingly similar – or precisely because of that! -It destroys jobs, robs creative and entrepreneurial performance, and, not least, often endangers people’s health.”

The copy of the wheel loader model was offered in a German department store chain. The chain reacted quickly, signed a cease-and-desist declaration and paid damages. The model had been imitated by a Chinese company. It is smaller than the original, but design, technology and proportions were adopted 1:1. The cheap materials and the bad workmanship were conspicuous.

“We would like to do without the Plagiarius,” concludes the managing director, “because such a counterfeit causes trouble, costs a lot of time and energy and deceives our loyal customers, which is the worst part.”

Plagiarism as an economic problem

This year’s laudator of the award ceremony, Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Arndt Sinn, Director of the Centre for European and International Criminal Law Studies at the University of Osnabrück, summarised the negative effects in his speech as follows: “The illegal trade in counterfeit products also has a detrimental effect on national economies: Innovation and revenues are declining and tax revenues and employment rates are falling. If the illegal profits are then introduced into the legal financial cycle through money laundering, the legal markets are undermined, which is ultimately of importance to society as a whole.”

 

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Link: The Plagarius is intended to draw attention to counterfeits and plagiarisms.

Image: Action Plagiarius e.V.

//CF