Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Urban Outfiiters is in the news as of late for stealing a jewelry designer's ideas: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/urban-outfitters-continue_n_867604.html#postComment.
What does this have to do with bicycles you ask? Well, here is my story.
As some of you may know, I started a second company called Bates Crates. I have been building high end wooden crates for the front of bikes for 3 years now. Here is a link to the first one I built- notice the date in the link... http://1lesscarnews.blogspot.com/2008/12/porter-box.html.
That was the first crate I built, but a few months later I designed what we called the Classic Crate, and within a few months we were contracted by Trek to design a crate for them (The Model T): http://1lesscarnews.blogspot.com/2009/08/biggest-news-in-one-less-car-history.html.
Now that you know the background, a few months ago I was alerted to company *cough*SUNLITE*cough* making a REALLY cheap knock of of my crate (along with another person or two on blogger).
About a month ago, Urban Outfitters emailed asking about selling my crates. I told them my wholesale price and below was there response:
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. We have a similar basket right now that retails for $40 and I really can’t work with a wholesale cost of $90 since we have such high margins. Thank you so much though.
So I decided to take a look on their site and this what I found: http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=20758819&CAWELAID=857891016.
Not only is a direct rip-off of my design, but they stole the name too!
It sucks for multiple reasons. First, I spent a lot of time making these, then sales slowed down, and now I have a decent idea of why.
I don’t have enough cash to hire a lawyer, and we all know Urban Outfitters has deeper pockets than me, so it looks like they're just going to get away with it... but I hope not.
Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!