Dubai, UAE, 28 February 2018: With millions of dollars invested in developing a product’s brand, design and technical data, it becomes an emotional legal issue when such elements are lifted by other companies and projected as their information. This was the view of a cross-section of HVACR manufacturers that Climate Control Middle East spoke to.
“A common duplication issue we see is when catalogue content is duplicated,” said Ajith Abraham, Territory Manager – Building Service Products, Leminar Air Conditioning. “Very often, we have observed that technical data is duplicated by non-authorised companies and passed off as their content.”
Sharing a similar view, Ravi Wadhwani, General Manager, Hira Walraven AC Industry, said, “When companies copy the technical data of products, the only element that is changed is the company name.”
From a branding perspective, Wadhwani said: “When we click pictures of our products, we ensure that the logo embossed on the product is prominent. But sometimes the violators do not bother to edit these visible elements in the picture and try to pass it off as their own product under their company name.”
Adding to Wadhwani’s view, Peter Robinson, Area Marketing Manager, Grundfos, said: “When logos are ripped off, little can be done if the logo has been re-sized or colour changes made to it, even if the primary design has been retained, unless the logo has been published as it is without any changes.”
Robinson added that legal action can only be initiated when a product has been duplicated owing to the patent protection. He further said that companies could protect themselves by ensuring every aspect of the product is patented and the trademarks registered.
Highlighting another product duplication issue, Abraham added, “We sometimes have come across products duplicated using the exact design, excepting for the weight, which implies that there has been a compromise on the internal components, leading to a drop in pricing.”
To counter this issue of copyright infringement, the stakeholders believed that along with reporting such cases to authorities, it is through constant dialogue and awareness among end-users, especially with contractors and consultants that the challenge can be countered.