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19/04/2013
Keywords about IP
In the subject of intellectual property there are a few very important key-words like: look-alike, dilution, imitation, knock-off and trade dress. In practice, those english terms are used, by the experts of any nation. Without knowledge of them we cannot understand the real problems of intellectual property.
The term look-alike means "similar", "with similar characteristics", "replica".
Look-alike product is designed to imitate the brand name or overall appearance of market-leading brands WITHOUT confusing customers. They want to use a good reputation of well know brand and just bring it to costumers' mind.
"Dilution" is the effect on the consumer's opinion after using products of worse quality: the consumer starts to unlike those product and to untrust all the producers, even the market leader.
Diluition is bigger with "look-alikes": in those cases the consumer thinks often that the quality of market leader is very close to the competitors' quality.
Imitation is a copy of a original product. The similitude or likeness includesg colours, size, style and even the same label. The imitation of the trade mark could be also use of letters or words similar in appearance or in sound to the original one. Therefore, in the consumers' opinion, imitation looks like a original, genuine, product. The word “imitation”, also in legal terms, is wide as well and it could contain also look-alike and knock off.

Trade dress is a physical appearance of the product, includig its shape, size, design color or texture. This term may also refer to the manner in which a product is packaged, presented, promoted or advertised.
Very important is to know the diffrence between terms "look-alike" and "knock-off". They are not synonyms.
Look-alike product as well as knock-off product are imitation of the well know and famous products. However, look-alike can be only inspiration, which is non illegal. Inspiration can be taken from luxury goods but the look-alike product is not at the same level. Luxury brands create a fashon trend, many of the cheaper brands designe their produducts (clothes, accessories and so on) very similar, but not quite the same. The difference could be teh colour, the size and more elements that are taken just as inspiration by the most famous brands.
On the countrary, "knock-off" is a copy in every small details.
Ewelina Starbala info@studiovellini.it
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