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Nominations open for design plagiarism competition

Aktion Plagiarius 'dishonors' knock-offs

Aktion Plagiarius is accepting applications through Nov. 30 for its 38th annual international design plagiarism competition, which Aktion Plagiariusdishonors design knock-offs in housewares, home decor and gift items each February at the Ambiente consumer goods trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

Since 1977, the non-profit group has awarded juried "anti-prizes" to manufacturers and distributors of what the group deems to be "the most flagrant" design imitations, in an effort to increase public awareness of the unscrupulous business practices of imitators who copy the designs of successful products.

Following a press conference and award ceremony on Feb. 7, 2014, Ambiente's opening day, the copied products will be displayed in a special exhibit alongside their original counterparts. After the fair, the products will be added to the permanent collection in the Museum Plagiarius in Solingen, Germany. Prize winners will receive a trophy - a black gnome with a golden nose - symbolizing the earnings that product pirates collect at the expense of innovative designers and companies.

According to the group, Plagiarius honorees often end up withdrawing remaining product stock from the market, signing cease and desist letters or revealing their suppliers.

More entries in the 2013 Aktion Plagiarius exhibit; originals are on the left, copies on the right.A few of the entries in last year's Aktion Plagiarius exhibit; originals are on the left, copies on the right.

Designers and companies affected by plagiarisms who would like apply for the 2014 competition must be able to supply the jury with:

- The original product
- The alleged plagiarism
- A completed registration form (available online)
- Any correspondence with the imitator
- Copies of IPR Intellectual Property Registrations, if any 

The registration fee for the first item is 300 EUR, and 150 EUR for each additional registered item.

The registration form can be downloaded here. For more information, contact Christine Lacroix, or phone +49(0)7308 / 922 422. For more on last year's event, click here.


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