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IKEA takes the high road with their low-end bag

Apr 27, 2017

In my line of work, people take their ideas very seriously. Frankly, that’s why my job exists. Patents and trademarks help people protect what they create. You get a patent or a trademark, then threaten to sue anyone who copies or steals. Patent and trademark monitoring and litigation is big business. Usually it’s a global, high-end or heritage branded company like Coca-cola, McDonald’s, or Louis Vuitton flexing their muscles against some little guy.

So, I had to laugh when I saw how IKEA called out luxury design house Balenciaga for copying their iconic 99 cent blue shopping bag. It was brilliant, smart and so IKEA. They may or may not have a #designpatent or #trademark for this. Regardless, what is awesome about this is that IKEA probably has big enough pockets to take on a Balenciaga. They didn’t pull out the big guns, send a cease and desist letter or threaten to sue. No, they wrote this hilarious ad, which has since gone viral:

Ikea advertisement featuring its signature blue shopping bag

The fine print reads:

How to identify an original Ikea Frakta bag
1) Shake it. If it rustles, it’s the real deal.
2) Multifunctional. It can carry hockey gear, bricks, and even water.
3) Throw it in the dirt. A true Frakta is simply rinsed off with a garden hose when dirty.
4) Fold it. Are you able to fold it to the size of a small purse? If the answer is yes, congratulations.
5) Look inside. The original has an authentic Ikea tag.
6) Price tag. Only $0.99.

Look how IKEA is defending its brand here:  with class and with humor. By taking the high road, they avoid the financial and social costs of a nasty lawsuit. Don’t we have enough fighting in this world?

No response yet from Balenciaga.

Post Tags: civility | trademarks

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