Friday, October 12, 2007

Herman Miller offers chairs on 'Second Life', Goes after Knockoffs

Herman Miller has ventured into the realm of virtual community, bringing their "authorized" designs to Second Life in an attempt to address the issues of illegitimate knockoffs. See their press release.

Basically, for a limited time, Herman Miller is offering SL residents free trade-ins on any fake Aerons - or on some of its other iconic products - for an authentic SL Aeron. If you don't have a fake, you can buy an Aeron for a small price.

Residents who have been creating and selling Herman Miller knock-offs up, however, are getting a less friendly offer from the company:

"[W]e've contacted those parties and informed them of our trade dress protections, copyrights and trademarks they are infringing, asking politely but firmly that they cease and desist," says the firm's spokesman, "Some have complied, others have countered with proposed partnerships, and some have yet to respond."

It will be interesting to follow this intellectual property rights showdown in the real world and to see of other companies will follow suit.

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