Like many innovative businesses, Knog doesn’t appreciate that imitation is the greatest form of flattery and has recently put greater focus on protecting its intellectual property.
Knog recently won a case against a Chinese manufacturer which was creating copies of Knog’s popular silicone light series. Knog’s success means five brands within Australia selling similar silicone USB rechargeable lights are required to pay royalty fees to Knog on remaining stock.
Other brands are likely to be affected as the patent extends to major markets including the EU, USA and Canada. This isn’t the first IP win for Knog, having successfully defended its highly popular silicone light designs in the past.
Malcolm Mckechnie, COO at Knog said: “Knog’s innovation in design and manufacturing has made us a target for companies looking for an easy path to market.”
In future, brands looking to sell the copy products will need to negotiate sale terms with Knog.
This case is a stark reminder that many products on the market are catalogue bought, requiring little more effort than a colour choice and re-branding to bring to market. Looking through the Taiwan bicycle book, a product directory for inner industry members, it doesn’t take long before you feel like you’re playing a game of brand bingo.
Lately, we’ve seen more and more IP defense within the bike industry, including the likes of Garmin vs Bryton, Brompton look-alikes and Specialized’s fight against fakes.