Fighting Knock-Offs: The Plagiarius Competition 2013

GNOMEdouble_tPlagiarius Award

I was not familiar with the Plagiarius Competition until
Dr.Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, sent me information on this annual competition to stigmatise those who infringe on other’s intellectual property.  Here is how the competition describes itself:

Initiated…back in 1977…, the negative award
"Plagiarius" serves to inform the public about the problem of fakes
and plagiarism and the negative impact they have on not only the economy as a
whole, but also on small companies and designers…The award is given to those companies that the jury has found guilty of making
"the most flagrant" design imitations.

It appears to be effective.  After receiving the award, some of the copiers came to terms with their accusers?  And let’s face it; it has to be satisfying to
be affirmed by an unbiased panel of judges.

Knock-offs are a constant concern, particularly in the toy industry.  If you feel that you and your business have
been infringed upon by another company, you can find a Plagiarius  application by clicking

3 thoughts

  1. Thanks Richard, for posting and Ryan, for your good comment. Over a number of years we grew more concerned about the increased theft of intellectual property by those who don’t invest in design, are not originators, and copy others. A Committee, chaired by Marshall B Gavin, b.dazzle, and myself, worked diligently over three years with many who had been affected by plagiarism across the country and outside of the USA. As a result we produced a “Code of Ethics” which was submitted to and adopted by TIA as “The Code of Conduct” with the leadership of President Carter Keithly, and the TIA Board of Directors. As a result members now sign the pledge, and we anticipate greater adherence and respect of copyrights and patents as a result. When I attended the “Plagiarism Prize” event at the Nurnberg Toy Fair I committed to the founders to support this important organization’s efforts to provide recognition of “knock offs” that copied original products. When they sent me their latest announcement I shared it with as many people as I could including Richard. I am glad he reported this opportunity to readers, and he also reported about other recent ethical and economic issues like Bain and KB Toys. The Toy Industry needs to keep careful watch, and take action on all related economic and legal issues, and support and respect intellectual property, plus be watchful of exploitation of workers, factory conditions, and safety regulations. TIA has provided leadership in these areas thanks to the diligence of members like Alan Hassenfeld (ICTI), Al Verrecchia, Rick Woldenberg, and others, who take the time to be involved and give their support to timely issues. If everyone did their part the industry will continue to flourish despite many challenges. Please be alert and aware of “copy cats”, and those who take the work from others without attribution. This industry should be most respectful and supportive of originality, creativity and unique contributions. That is after all the purpose of play and toys, and one of the important lessons we want for children. Hopefully adults will conduct themselves properly, and be examples, and model what is right and just. It’s never too late to make amends.
    Wish everyone much success ahead.

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