Copyright and Patent Fraud








Copyright and Patent Fraud



by
David Lee Roth

12th hon. Government
Mr. Pibb
January 5, 1998

Roth 1
Today, more than ever before, products, goods, and services
are being provided by businesses of all variations. Fewer and fewer people today are self-sufficient. Practically no one today makes his or her own clothes, and some people do not even prepare their own meals. Today\'s business world and modern day technology make it possible for people to obtain almost anything and everything they need or want, provided they have the money to buy it. There are gardening, music, painting, moving, clothing, and countless other businesses all around the world. Undoubtedly, there is a business for practically anything one could think of, and many people have gained great success and wealth by finding these needs and filling them.
With all this success and wealth, it is not surprising that
ideas are often stolen by other people in the hopes of gaining great wealth themselves. The success of many of these businesses has caused the copying of many materials. Although many diverse ideas and products are "stolen," the biggest problems are clothing and software. The majority of copying and fraud involve software, like CDs, tapes, and computer programs, but there also is a huge market for clothing items like jeans, shirts, and sunglasses.
Roth 2
CD piracy is currently the fastest-growing counterfeiting threat, with China and Bulgaria suspected as the largest of the
counterfeiters, according to Mike Edwards of the International
Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Edwards claims that
worldwide piracy from street bootleggers, to organized crime, robs the recording industry of about 2.5 billion dollars or 6.5 per cent of the industry’s annual sales. (Edwards 6)
However, it is not always a product that is being copied. As in one case, Miller Brewing Co. has developed a new beer with a label that appears to be aimed at taking customers away from Anheuser-Busch Co. The problem is that the new brand gives a prominent display of an eagle, like Anheuser\'s label. Anheuser-Busch is currently the number one brewer in America, but Miller is planning to release a new flagship brand called "Miller Beer." This "new brew" is aimed at taking sales away from the "king of sales," and the "king of beers," Budweiser. John N. McDonough of Miller claims that this new beer "tastes different from anything out there." Miller plans to put some 65 million dollars into promoting the new beer. (Melcher 37)
In another case it is golf clubs and accessories that are being copied. In this case, however, the companies are not
Roth 3
copying each other; rather, they are working together in an effort to stop production of cheaper, copy-cat clubs that are taking away from their sales. There are three main companies involved in this fight against the fakes. The companies are: Cobra Golf Canada Inc. and Taylor Made Canada, both companies based in Montreal, along with Calloway Golf, which is based in Carlsbad, California. (Estok 30)
In one instance, the Taylor Made Burner Driver, the company\'s top club, is being copied with the name "The Tour Made Ruler." This fake club is almost identical to the Burner Driver. The fake club has similar colors, markings, and the same shape as the Burner Driver. In addition to the Burner, there is also Tommy Man\'s Bumber, which is an apparent knock-off of Taylor Made\'s Burner Bubble. The Tommy Man\'s Bumber even comes with similar stylized lettering and red flames. (Estok 30)
Bob Cote, vice-president of Cobra, claims that he has been
battling pirate clubs since 1994. Mr. Cote has even gone to the
extreme of visiting retailers with a bailiff, and seizing imitation clubs off the racks. Once the companies recognize imitations, they report them to a team of lawyers based in Montreal that
sends out cease and desist letters to the stores with the imitation clubs. (Estok 30)
Roth 4
Materials are being copied in many different ways by many
different people ranging from the nice neighborhood man who copies a computer game for a friend of his, to large production factories called sweatshops. Sweatshops are illegal factories in which patent products are counterfeited for a profit. In these sweatshops workers slave to counterfeit expensive, top-quality products which are then sold illegally for high prices.
Company and product logos are another category subject to
copying.