The Replica War: Herman Miller vs. Matt Blatt

The battle lines have been drawn and the war is about to begin.
According to an article in The Age today, American designer furniture
company Herman Miller has announced plans to take replica furniture
supplier Matt Blatt to the Federal Court over a number of perceived
breaches.

As far as I am concerned, Herman Miller’s action is long overdue and one
can only wonder how long it will take other designers/companies to follow
suit if the case is ruled in favour of the American furniture company.
I have nothing against licensed re-issues of designer products, but
replicas are just fakes at the end of the day. Fakes are not good for
consumers, workers and designers, as they are often made using
sweatshop labour and lack the quality and integrity of the original design.

I have written about the production of fakes on this blog, so my lack of
support for Matt Blatt will come as no surprise. How can we expect young
designers to invest all their hard work and cash towards developing
new designs and products if they do not have the right to protect their
intellectual property?

What is perhaps more disturbing is the support for Matt Blatt out there
in the general public. Many people seem to be quite comfortable with the
idea of ripping off the original designers in order to save a few bucks.
It’s also worth reading the comments for this article, but
be warned, it will have you tearing your hair out. Personally, I think that
if you do your homework and know what you like, there are plenty
of opportunities to buy great original vintage pieces at a low price.

Happy bargain hunting.

UPDATE: You can read all about Herman Miller’s victory here.

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