Imitation, Flattery: BKLYN Designs Edition

Posted on May 14, 2007 Under Design

Last year I was involved in the Green Homes Tour and received a heavy dose of sustainable resources and alternative wood choices knowledge and since then, this sort of furniture has continued to catch my eye. While at BKLYN Designs this past weekend, the like-minded folks at Inhabitat couldn’t help but notice the furniture by 4KORNERS appeared not only similar, but bordering on rip-off of the Scrapile designs. Apparently, Scrapile uses bands of wood in different colors and laminated together. Inhabitat questioned the design process behind 4KORNERS’ product, raising concerns about trademark, public perception and brand recognition. Personally I am not a furniture expert, and I am certainly not a patent or trademark attorney, but considering the relatively small market segment that these brands are in, I am not really sure if this is a big issue, and certainly isn’t one that is new to the design world as a whole. If Scrapile truly are the innovators of using different colors of wood (really?), I don’t think it would be difficult to stop 4Korners, considering the relatively small size of these companies and the market they are in. What are your thoughts?