Spot the fake.

Plagiarius prize for Joyou

Published:  07 March, 2011

ESHER: Chinese manufacturer Joyou Group Building Materials was awarded the dubious honour of scooping the 'Plagiarius' prize at the Ambiente consumer goods fair in Frankfurt for “particularly blatant plagiarism”. 

This 'negative prize' is awarded – according to a statement by the Initiative Against Ideas Theft headed by professor of pesign, Rido Busse,  for “particularly blatant plagiarism”.

In the case of the “award-winning” mixer manufacturer, the object in question is a copy of the Hansgrohe designed washbasin mixer, 'Focus S'.

“It is always the products that are particularly successful on the market, like the Focus S, that are ripped off and copied,” stressed Richard Grohe, deputy chairman of Hansgrohe AG. Hansgrohe estimates the damage caused by product piracy to be in the order of 5-10% of annual sales.

“To put it another way, this means that the creation of new jobs – and we are talking a sizeable number here, around 100 jobs – is being prevented as a result of these pirated products. Theft of intellectual property hurts the economy and causes job losses,” he added.

In terms of appearance, the Hansgrohe original and the copy sold under the name JY 00121 are almost impossible to distinguish for the average consumer. The original product, however, offers considerably more in terms of functionality and therefore greater value for the user.

”In the case of the Focus S, this additional functionality consists of a flow limiter, for example, which reduces water consumption to five litres per minute, the QuickClean anti-lime scale function, and an integrated hot-water flow safety restriction," said Mr Grohe.

“The makers of pirated copies generally hope to be competitive on the basis of low cost. They therefore invest little in the functionality and quality of the products. Usually, it is the consumer who is disadvantaged.”

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