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Shaie Zindel
Shaie Zindel, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1248
Experience:  All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
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Hi I would like your advice on something. We are a manufacturer

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Hi I would like your advice on something. We are a manufacturer of mannequins. We have been asked to reproduce a mannequin that was designed by an international company.
We would be using our own mannequin pose so would not be copying the mannequin shape, however, our customer wants us to give our mannequin the same (or very similar) head and to cover it in a similar fabric to that used by this international company. Would we be allowed to do this?

Shaie Zindel :

Good Evening and thank you for your question - if I understand you correctly - your mannequin will look similar to but not exactly like a competitors? Does the competitor have any Intellectual Property marks on the mannequin or have they trademarked any labels, is the design patented or registered anywhere???


Hi Shaie


The actual mannequin shape will be different. The 'treatment' to the mannequin - i.e. the addition of a similar head to the competitors and also the covering of the upper body in a similar fabric will be similar. The competitor is a Dutch producer of mannequins and I am sure that they patent/copyright their mannequin forms but we are not copying the actual mannequin shape. We are, however, giving the mannequin a very similar treatment so in appearance it could look similar. From past experience I understand that you can reverse engineer a product legally but am not sure if this would fit into this category.

OK - IM with you - to be honest I don't foresee any problem - at the end of the day its like driving down the road and seeing a house you fall in love with. What's to stop you from building exactly the same house on your stand? You are not copying any plans so there is no copyright infringement? There is no mark or name you're copying like the NIKE Swoosh so its not a trademark infringement and there cant be a patent on the mannequin (I'm assuming) because only "NEW" inventions can be patented - in my view you face no issues.
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