Jill Fehrenbacher

Is Dutch Fashion House Oilily Guilty of Plagiarism?

by , 03/26/09

dolls, oilily, rosa pomar, summer of love

They say ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, but children’s toy designer Rosa Pomar isn’t smiling about the recent unauthorized copying of her signature hand-made dolls by major Dutch fashion brand Oilily. Rosa, a Portuguese children’s toy designer, recently came across a doll that bore an uncanny resemblance to one she created and has been marketing online since 2004. Rosa’s bonecos (dolls) are beautifully hand-detailed soft toys made from fabrics bursting with color, and bearing what she thought were trademark details such as daisy eyes and a stitched harelip smile. Oilily’s new copycat doll is almost EXACTLY the same as Rosa’s trademarked doll – raising a serious quandary for a young, independent designer: what do you do when a major brand appears to blatantly rip you off?

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1 Comment

  1. setheeee April 1, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Hi, this is always a problem for smaller designers facing large wholesale companies.

    #1. They should send a cease and desist letter drafted by a laywer. Also, make sure they get written or voice confirmation that the violating company has received the letter.

    #2. purchase all items that look like Knock Offs.

    #3. It is very hard to prove a company violated a trademark, unless the products are identical, and the original content designer has a copyright that has been approved by the USPTO. But, if you can prove that they are systematically taking your designs and changing them just a little bit, there is a case. But, a word of caution, we’ve dealt in some nasty cases with lots of evidence, but still ended up loosing the case. Its not fun, and it is expensive. Sending the letter is the cheap and simple way to see if you get can get them to stop.

    Beyond that, its a tough call that may cost lots of money. You may take it as a marketing opportunity to see if they will license the designs for 3% or something to at least get something…

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