As many as 24 design companies are getting together to campaign for original products. The campaign arises from the realisation that the practice of copying original products is a growing problem in Finland and abroad.
Ornamo also wants to highlight the work that goes into creating original products. Product design can, at its best, be a result of several years of creative work, and particularly small independent companies lose out in their fight against piracy. The campaign is currently particularly topical, because the importance of immaterial rights for companies has grown over the last ten years in Finland and Europe, according to Ornamo’s Executive Director Salla Heinänen.
“A third of all jobs in Europe are in IP intensive companies; they generate 90 % of Europe’s exports and 26 percent of all jobs and represent 39 per cent of the EU’s overall GDP. That is approximately half of all industry in the EU,” Heinänen illuminates.
According to Heinänen, in the light of the big picture, it is important to understand that piracy reduces companies’ competitiveness. Some companies say that anti-piracy countermeasures devour the same amount of the company’s profits as marketing. The reality is evident also in Ornamo’s recent business review, which surveyed, for example, the protection of designers’ immaterial rights.
“46 per cent of the respondents to Ornamo’s business review do not protect their work in any way. Only just over ten per cent had a company-specific IPR strategy.”
The situation is unreasonable within the framework of small companies’ resources.
“Even if a company has the funds to protect the immaterial rights of its products, it may not have sufficient resources to monitor them,” Heinänen comments.
She notes that it is against the law in Finland to import copyright-protected, illegally produced design furniture, even if the furniture is meant for private use.
“Small companies create whilst the big ones benefit”
Many companies have protected the trademark and design of their products, which means that the product is protected against piracy by statutory industrial property rights. Authentic and unique design can also naturally fall under copyright protection without any registration requirements. These products are protected by the Copyright Act.
However, companies bringing out many products and product ranges cannot protect every product. Nevertheless, copying any product, including the unprotected ones, is ethically extremely questionable.
Brands and consumers wishing to participate in the campaign are encouraged to share pictures of original products with the hashtag #loveoriginal. The campaign supporters include Lundia, Himmee, Muoto2 and Lapuan Kankurit.
“Direct copies of Lapuan Kankurit patterns as well as versions of them have been made in the East and West. Lapuan Kankurit has, over the years, put a lot of effort into product development, which other companies have then exploited. It is regrettably common in the design sector that small companies develop and create innovations, which the big companies then use,” says Marketing Manager Jaana Hjelt from Lapuan Kankurit.
Ornamo’s Design Christmas guarantees product origin
The campaign reminds consumers of the fact that there is always a company behind original products, and the company can be contacted even after several years. Some retailers also recognise unique products and relay information to the manufacturers if they have seen copies of them. Ornamo Design Christmas sales event is well known for ensuring that consumers can be certain of the quality and origin of the products they buy there.
“Piracy is a major problem for companies, and we wish the officials would offer more support on the matter. The piracy industry is run by organised crime, and small companies naturally cannot fight against it alone. This causes significant economic losses on a national level as well,” says CEO Emma Frenzel from Secto Design.
In 2012, Ornamo, along with some Finnish companies, reported the marketing of a British online store to the police. Consumers were sold cheap copies of, for example, Artek products and Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chairs manufactured in China.
Further information and interview requests:
Ornamo Executive Director Salla Heinänen, +358 (0)400 221 143, firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on the #loveoriginal campaign is available from
Larissa Immonen, Finarte, 040 701 0913, sähköposti: email@example.com
Emma Frenzel, Secto Design, 040 565 4543, sähköposti: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuomo Puhakainen, LumoKids, 044 070 3248, sähköposti email@example.com
The campaign is signed by:
BEdesign, Bette Eklund ja Cilla Eklund
Eero Aarnio Originals, Stefan Mahlberg
Finarte, Larissa Immonen
Fleimio, Jussi Leimio
GRANdesign, Meiju Granholm
Hakola, Annaleena Hämäläinen ja Jari Hakola
Hile Design, Hilja Nikkanen
Himmee, Timo Niskanen
Inno Niklas Korhonen
Interface, Tuukka Leppänen
Kutomo Rasinmäki, Eija Rasinmäki
Langø, Susanna Osala
Lapuan Kankurit, Jaana Hjelt
Lovi, Anne Paso ja Mikko Paso
LumoKids, Tuomo Puhakainen
Lundia, Michaela von Wendt
Magisso, Juhani Sirén ja Anssi Hurme
Mattotalo Helma, Aino Herlevi
Muoto2, Kirsi Pasanen ja Mikko Kentta
Nikari, Johanna Vuorio
Parolan Rottinki, Anitta Herranen
Secto Design, Tuula Jusélius ja Emma Frenzel
Teemu Järvi Illustrations, Teemu Järvi
Woodnotes, Mikko Puotila