Entrepreneurs all over the world are learning the power of Chinese production and manufacturing the hard way. The dream of earning big bucks for this Israeli innovator collapsed when he saw the copies of his invention on Chinese online shopping sites like Alibaba. It had only been a week since Yekutiel Sherman had launched his Kickstarter campaign.
Selfies have become an integral part of our lives. Sherman wanted to invent an alternative selfie-stick that could be carried around easily. After two years of hard work, Sherman successfully created a compact smartphone case that doubled as a collapsible selfie stick. He named his invention the Stickbox and launched a Kickstarter campaign to collect $40,000 through crowdfunding.
Only a week after the crowdfunding campaign was launched, the replicas of the Stick box were available on the Chinese e-commerce sites like Alibaba. To top it all off, the Chinese models were being sold at only a fraction of the Stickbox’s price. Sherman is not the first victim of the lightning-fast Chinese copycats. And the worst thing is, he can’t even do anything about it.
When word got out that the Chinese version of the Stick box costs only $8.18 as opposed to the $47.41 Stick box designed by Sherman, his backers were visibly angered:
“Creator’s last update and comment was nothing but a hopeless excuse. Undoubtedly this is a scam project. We all got deceived. Take a deep breath and let go. I pray for the death of this project. And for the deceased creator. If they’re not yet, my pray is hope they will soon.”
Another sponsor said:
“Are you kidding me? We need the product now. You’re going to have your own lawsuit on your hands if you don’t start producing the products we’ve all paid for. Stop worrying about other companies and distribute your product. You’re company’s barely into its first year and you’re already running it into the ground. I’m sorry that I ever put my faith in this company to begin with, but by the looks of things it won’t be around much longer.”
An endless stream of angry comments has been pouring in on the campaign page. However, due to the viral success of his campaign soon as it was launched, Sherman has already crossed the $40,000 he wanted to source via the crowdfunding site. Nonetheless, the backers are not too happy about it:
“You are charging double the price for what the copycats are charging, yet I seriously doubt the final product will be any better than the copycats.”
If it were one manufacturing company copying a design, Sherman would have stood a chance of pursuing legal action against them. However, wildly successful ideas like Sherman’s are taken up by everyone, and it becomes impossible to pursue legal action.
“There are other selfie stick cases but we are the only ones that have been copied. So it shows that our product is worth being copied. The quote that comes to mind is, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’”
The ultra-fast theft of the Stick box design by Sherman will cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just shows why the world needs to unite on the issue of Intellectual Property Rights!