I’ve ‘emulated’ a multinational’s product. How can I dodge their lawyers?

Dear Aunty B,

I am launching a product that looks like a very popular product manufactured by a multi-national.

How should I protect myself when they come after me?


Dear Cheeky,

Have you got a death wish? Why on earth would you wave a red flag at an enormous crazy bull with huge horns that is surrounded by a pack of salivating lawyers? Huh?

Here is what you should do. See a lawyer immediately to check whether you have infringed their IP. It should not cost you much. If you are infringing, forget it. Come up with a different idea and a different product. It will not be worth the hassle being dragged through the courts and their pockets are far deeper than yours.

If the lawyer suggests some slight modifications, take his advice but also weigh up the consequences of the multi-national coming after you anyway.
And finally, look at a way that you could cleverly trade on their idea but take it in a different direction.

It is fine to be cheeky in business – but not if you are ripping off someone else’s idea. How would you like it?

Good luck!
Your Aunty B.


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