Anti-plagiarism initiative denounces product pirates at the Frankfurt Ambiente trade fair
“Cheek gets you further” was most likely the mindset of the Chinese mixer specialist Joyou, but at the consumer goods trade fair Ambiente, it was pilloried. Its copy of the Hansgrohe Focus S wash basin mixer received the Plagiarius 2011 negative award. The award, which no-one wants to receive, is presented every year as part of professor of design Rido Busse’s anti-plagiarism initiative. This year’s “winning” company is listed on the German stock exchange in Frankfurt and comes from Fujian Province in China: Joyou Group Building Materials Co. One thing is clear for Richard Grohe, Vice Chairman of Hansgrohe AG:
“plagiarism costs jobs”
The mixer and shower manufacturer estimates that the losses caused by counterfeit products add up to between five and ten percent of the total revenue. This equates to around a hundred jobs that cannot be created at the German site due to imitation products. “It’s always the products that enjoy particular market success like the Focus S that are copied”. The plagiarists latch onto the success of the original from the Black Forest and thus reduce its market potential.
Consumers are also victims
In terms of appearance, there is little difference between the original and the copy. However, if you look at the inner values of the product from China, the situation is very different: Focus S offers more functions and thus greater benefits than the copy. For example, the copy does not have a flow limiter, an anti-lime-scale function like QuickClean or integrated hot water limitation. “Manufacturers of copies count on the lower price. Consumers lose out”, commented Richard Grohe.
Dwarf’s nose for the plagiarists
The trophy for the brazen plagiarist is a black dwarf with a golden nose: a symbol of the fact that product pirates enrich themselves at the cost of the original manufacturers. The negative award has been presented since 1977. This year, it went to a total of ten products.