Time: 2017. 06. 20
Place: Milan, Italy
People: Chen Xingyu, Liu Jing, Peng Zeng
Along with the end of May, Milan Design Week is probably fading away from the memories of the mass however for Bentu Design there is a war does not cease to end.
By a few days taking part in the Design Week, we had our hats off to magnicifent and unique designs from the globe. Unbelievably we found “U” and “Stick”, two cement droplights designed by us in 2012 and launched in 2014, were being exhibited by “LED.C4”, a Spanish furniture brand. Shamelessly imposing.
Astounded, suspecting, indignation... With a complex mood we met staff in the LED.C4 site. It was said that the droplights were new designs of the LED.C4 in 2017, and they have been already marketed oversea before exhibition. We further revealed ourselves and carried out evidence that suggests piracy, followed by fudging excuses from the salesmen. They states that their sales department has nothing to do with management department so that they do not held any responsibility on our accusation, and further fobidded us from taking photo.
We had a talk with host of the Milan Design Week and expected our legal rights get protected. However their reply was: We’d like to do so but we couldn’t - The exhibition office does not own the authority to deal with the piracy between exhibitors. We had to file a petition in our own country.
Letters were sent to LED.C4 office and our patent certification were attached, we urged LED.C4 into withdrawal and making an official statement about piracy. Yet a month has passed, these two cement droplights were still on sale and the only respense was “we will handle it after festival holiday” in their replying letter.
We had only heard of Chinese piracy in the past. Foreign exibitor obstructed us on the High Point Expo 2016, refused our visit in the fear of being pirated. Now things get interesting- What can we do when we Chinese are getting pirated by those prevented us from piracy?
How can we maintain our legeal rights? Knowing that we do have rights to defend for our interests according to the priority principle in the ‘Paris Convention’, we seeked advices from lawyers however it is frustrating. It is hard to obtain efficient evidence of salse marketing and not to mention obtaining such evidence oversea. It would be a lengthy legal battle and we probably do not stand a chance agaisnt a 50-year company which is rich in capital.
Complaining and reporting? We had even tried to reach the Embassy of China in Milan but our effort had vanished in vain.
Five years ago we came to Milan with an excited heart filled with curiousity, cropped provoking reflections and strengthened our belief.
Five years later again in Milan, we found ourselves got pirated in the same site, what could be learnt out of here?
Western brand pirates Chinese design. It is not a gimmick but a slap on someone’s face.
When we are accused for pirating the western, we are speechless with our vulnerable designs.
When the western pirates us, we are even more speechless with our vulnerable designs.
What a bitter lesson! It is definitely impossible for us to agree that being pirated without any dignity or credit is any kind of recognition. We eager to show our product upright on the international stage, meanwhile having our legal rights dignified and protected.
We push our craftwork to a limit and make it a repeatable process, and next we press on making our prodeucts popular among the world. Stayed hungry, we will develop more and more new designs and cover up the blank with our color. The stream of energy and decisiv execution is the thing that truly belongs to us, it is the thing that others will never success to pirate.
We are inspired in relieving the suffer in the past two months. At the same time it is a warning towards all original designers. Unforgettable and unforgivable.