Woman who says Woolworths copied her baby carrier design will not sue - but wants retailer to account

surface

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Which others have you used, to compare it with?
I bought this - https://ubuntubaba.com/product/the-stage-1/ and compared with something my friend bought for his boy - babywomb brand or something like that. This was 10 months ago. in my opinion, ubuntu baba is overpriced by at least 500 rands - and even then they will make decent profit - unless owner herself is manufacturing cotton, stitching each thread on her own in a rented Michelangelo towers hotel room.
 

access

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I bought this - https://ubuntubaba.com/product/the-stage-1/ and compared with something my friend bought for his boy - babywomb brand or something like that. This was 10 months ago. in my opinion, ubuntu baba is overpriced by at least 500 rands - and even then they will make decent profit - unless owner herself is manufacturing cotton, stitching each thread on her own in a rented Michelangelo towers hotel room.
some people think if they pay more they get better quality, sometimes its true sometimes not.
 

Sollie

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Slight necro. But a worthwhile read.

https://www.fin24.com/Companies/Ret...dea-heres-how-to-protect-whats-yours-20190111
Small businesses with unique ideas have various options to protect themselves from big corporates and others stealing their intellectual property, legal experts have said.

Earlier this week, entrepreneur Shannon McLaughlin accused Woolworths of copying her baby carrier, Ubuntu Baba. After meeting with her, Woolworths later admitted that there were in fact "striking similarities" between their product and McLaughlin's and removed it from their shelves.

Elaine Bergenthuin, MD of De Beer Attorneys told Fin24 on Thursday that out of the various options available to entrepreneurs in terms of protecting their intellectual property, a patent was the most useful. The process, however, wasn't necessarily easy.
...
 

Gordon_R

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https://www.fin24.com/Companies/Ret...by-carriers-and-pay-back-ubuntu-baba-20190208

Woolworths will not be keeping the profits it made from the sale of baby carriers similar to those of a Cape Town-based small business, Ubuntu Baba.

This is according to a joint-statement issued by Woolworths and Ubuntu Baba on Friday afternoon, after the parties reached a resolution.
The retailer later said it would also remove Woolworths branding from the carriers and donate the carriers to under-resourced communities.
As part of the joint-statement on Friday, Woolworths announced it would not be "retaining any profits" from the baby carrier sales. It would donate a "large portion" of those proceeds to a "credible institution" to educate, support and develop small businesses in SA.

"The remaining proceeds will be paid to Ubuntu Baba." No amounts were mentioned.
The retailer said it would also be putting in place measures to avoid a similar incidents in the future.

"Some examples of these enhanced measures include an Intellectual Property e-learning module to ensure enterprise-wide reach of training, increasing Intellectual Property training to Woolworths employees and all relevant suppliers, and to explore additional systems functionality to support these measures," the statement read.
Woolworths added that investigations into two employees who ordered Ubuntu baba carriers found they had done so in their personal capacity, as "legitimate mothers-to-be".
 

Solarion

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Woollies clothing is astonishingly garbage for the price it is and compared with how it used to be.
Except their jackets. I bought one for around R800 around 10 years ago and it's still going strong. Although I do take good care of the stuff I own.
 

Daruk

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Nothing needs to be. Copyright is automatic and not something you apply for.
Err... the question was 'What was copyrighted?" as that is absolutely relevant to whether copyright infringement (aka piracy) applies.
She even admits Woolies product is not a copy by suggesting it's inferior. Just look at it. It's not the same thing.
 

Swa

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Err... the question was 'What was copyrighted?" as that is absolutely relevant to whether copyright infringement (aka piracy) applies.
She even admits Woolies product is not a copy by suggesting it's inferior. Just look at it. It's not the same thing.
The whole design is a rip-off. It seems to be an exact copy. That it's bad quality doesn't change anything.
 

Daruk

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The whole design is a rip-off. It seems to be an exact copy. That it's bad quality doesn't change anything.
You need your eyes checked. If that’s a rip-off then so is hers. You do know she got her idea from someone else’s product?

If I take a folk song in the public domain and shake up the tempo and change the melody line a bit then someone else comes and does the same shortly after me, it’s not copyright infringement.

As well put in this article:
https://ideanav.co.za/ubuntu-baba-woolworths-actually-copied/
“In removing its infant carriers from the shelves, Woolworths didn’t succumb to the law. It succumbed to what a small vociferous sector on social medial wished the law to be.”

This is SJW outrage, not the law at work. If you don’t like the law then lobby for change but you can’t get yourself in a knot because the law doesn’t suit you. She could have applied for a design registration for under R3k but didn’t. We live in a capitalistic society.
 
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Swa

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You need your eyes checked. If that’s a rip-off then so is hers. You do know she got her idea from someone else’s product?

If I take a folk song in the public domain and shake up the tempo and change the melody line a bit then someone else comes and does the same shortly after me, it’s not copyright infringement.

As well put in this article:
https://ideanav.co.za/ubuntu-baba-woolworths-actually-copied/
“In removing its infant carriers from the shelves, Woolworths didn’t succumb to the law. It succumbed to what a small vociferous sector on social medial wished the law to be.”

This is SJW outrage, not the law at work. If you don’t like the law then lobby for change but you can’t get yourself in a knot because the law doesn’t suit you. She could have applied for a design registration for under R3k but didn’t. We live in a capitalistic society.
Is this about her or about WW? We've already established there are hundreds of baby carriers that would look similar on face value but looking deeper they all have unique design elements. WW had hers delivered to them in order to copy it. If that doesn't constitute copyright infringement I don't see what will. Don't see why she should have it registered to receive the automatic protection the law provides.

Your example is entirely nonsensical. Songs are not copyrighted but renditions of them are. You can't copy something I sang and recorded even if you cut my voice out in one line and replaced it with your own.
 

lumeer

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Again, the law that applies here is designs and patents, not copyright. Copyright holds for literary and artistic works. The lady should probably have registered a design for the unique features of her carrier.
 

Daruk

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Is this about her or about WW? We've already established there are hundreds of baby carriers that would look similar on face value but looking deeper they all have unique design elements. WW had hers delivered to them in order to copy it. If that doesn't constitute copyright infringement I don't see what will. Don't see why she should have it registered to receive the automatic protection the law provides.
Stop trying to argue the law when you’re just woke :laugh:

But seriously, this stuff is the domain of SJWs frothing at the mouth who think the law should work the way they think. There is absolutely no case in court IMO. This is not a legal issue. It’s a social justice issue.

Do I disagree with Woolies copying her product (even if not identical)... yes, and I’d be annoyed if they did that to my product too but do I think she should blame them of anything more than possibly an ethics breach? No.
Besides, woolies is a big firm, it’s not always possible to know when employees have stepped outside the lines. When it was pointed out to them, they made amends. Internally they have some training to do with their staff, that’s all. And those lines are NOT LEGAL. It was totally legal for Woolies to copy any design in the public domain.
I very much doubt she’d even have got a patent for her carrier given its a copy of other designs out there.

Your example is entirely nonsensical. Songs are not copyrighted but renditions of them are.
Wat? If I write music and lyrics, both can absolutely be copyrighted.
You can't copy something I sang and recorded even if you cut my voice out in one line and replaced it with your own.
What made you think I was even referring to using your rendition of anything? Recording, distributing or performing a copyrighted work without license is illegal unless you own that work. I was talking about performing your own rendition of something in the public domain. That’s what happened here. Her baby carrier is as much a copy of someone else’s idea. And it’s not illegal.

Everyone is just being woke and hearing what they want to hear as usual.
 
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Daruk

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Again, the law that applies here is designs and patents, not copyright. Copyright holds for literary and artistic works. The lady should probably have registered a design for the unique features of her carrier.
Good point. Just read up on the difference.
 

Daruk

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https://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb...l-property-from-woolies-baby-carrier-debacle/


The first thing we must remember is that there is nothing wrong with copying. If I design a product – for example, a baby carrier – and put it out to the market without a registered design or patent, anybody can copy it. So, fundamentally one can be copied.

However, there is a social issue here and a social media issue. I’ve briefly looked at, for example, the Ergo baby carriers. If you go onto Google and search Ergobaby carriers, there are many that look exactly the same to me as the pictures of the Ubuntu and the Woolworths carriers. The idea of a baby carrier that looks very similar to the Ubuntu or the Woolworths one is definitely not new. You can’t register a design after the fact. You have to register it before. So I think that, in this case, the Ubuntu product was not protectable by way of a patent or a design.

So, what other recourses are there? There is something called “copyright”. That also will not work in this instance. There is “passing off” – so Woolworths can’t pass the product off as being an Ubuntu product, for example – but I don’t think that was done. There is “unlawful competition”, which I think is a very difficult thing to prove. And then there is “trademark infringement” – and on the face of it, I don’t see trademark infringement.

Woolworths is not my client but, if it were, my immediate advice, without seeing the products, would have been you are okay in law, but not in social media”
 
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