We’ve all heard the saying “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I’d like to make the distinction between “inspired by” and “full-on copycat” here. Since Knock Knock was founded, in 2002, we’ve been proud to see our influence all over the marketplace. We believe in staying on our game so that our creativity always keeps us ahead of the curve and we appreciate that if we are successful, there will be protegé products.
Copying, however, is another thing entirely. This last twelve months has been, in the words of Queen Elizabeth, an annus horribilus for us with respect to complete and utter knockoffs. These have come from every direction: domestic chain retailers where we all shop (and to which Knock Knock already sells its product!), international publishers and manufacturers of some repute, and in places like Etsy® and Pinterest® and Flickr® and Reddit® (our attorney made us put in those annoying ®s), in which individuals take credit for our work and either try to sell it or copy it freely. When I say “copying,” I mean pretty much scanning our product and outputting it on a color printer.
Knock Knock feels very strongly that these knockoffs are wrong—unethical and damaging to both the marketplace and to morality. Knock Knock products are intensely labor intensive. The concepting, writing, and design that goes into a Knock Knock product requires a lot of work—and overhead, by way of salaries we pay to amazing creative people—to get it just right. To take our efforts and labors of love and copy them is not only stealing, it is offensive at the deepest level. That’s why we have aggressively enforced our rights and been successful in removing numerous inferior, copycat products from the market.
We are primarily learning of these knockoffs from sales reps, distributors, employees, customers, and other friends of Knock Knock. Once we learn of alleged infringements, they are turned over to our outside legal counsel for aggressive enforcement.
We would be eternally grateful if you would keep your eyes open for Knock Knock knockoffs (both in retail stores and online) and send our way when you see them, even if you’re not sure if something qualifies as a copyright or trademark infringement. Just take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org so that Knock Knock and its attorneys can determine whether it’s an infringement. Also tell your friends! The more eyeballs, the better!
The success of Knock Knock—and that of our creative peer companies, and of all people and groups that put their thoughts into the world—stems from the originality of our creativity. Please help us in keeping the marketplace a safe place for such work.