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by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copying, knockoffs


Truck Maker Discovers Chinese Knockoff Company; Helps It Come Up With Its Own Design

from the well-there's-a-different-strategy dept

We've seen different companies respond in different and creative ways to companies making knockoffs in the past. One of my favorites was the South African clothing firm that created an entire (secret) knockoff line of clothes to "compete" with unauthorized knockoffs. However Sebastian Brannstrom points us to a really surprising story out of Sweden. While the linked article mostly complains about knockoffs and talks about the need for greater "patent" protections, at the end there's the fascinating story of truckmaker Scania (Google translation of the original Swedish) and how it responded to the discovery of a Chinese firm making knockoff trucks. Rather than freak out, it actually reached out to the firm, and helped them design different trucks.

The company admits that it knew that a lawsuit would be pointless, and figured it was worth a shot to try a different approach:
"We told them that we welcome competition but we think you should invest in a unique identity towards your customers"

Scania even gave them design tips.

"We gave them sketch-like ideas on the lines of the cab that you can do instead.

They later came back with a sketch of what they had thought about.

"We thought it was still too much like us. Then they did the job and came back again. It was a very friendly and constructive discussion. They respected what we said and made sure that they have not crossed the border again. Their next series will not be like Scania, "said Mr Harborn.
Now there's a strategy you don't see every day...

Reader Comments

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  1. icon
    Matthew A. Sawtell (profile), 24 Feb 2011 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Trouble with "helping"...

    Comes down to this scenario: Truck driving down road, driver attempts to hit the breaks before hitting some crossing the street, truck hits person. Person sues driver, company, and truck maker. In this case, the shangzhai truck maker can attempt to include Scandia in the lawsuit because "they helped design the truck".

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