When I initially saw this post on Instagram, it felt a bit vague. I was looking for some backing from the International Interior Designers Association or a closely related body. But the more I looked, I realized that a petition is usually by whom it concerns. The International body of Interior Design may be silent on the news being circulated about Houzz and I, as an interior designer may not be affected immediately by this news, but it’s definitely worth paying attention to.
A knock off is generally understood to be a cheap replica intended to evoke the original product by having a similar appearance, but without the identical or nearly identical use of a registered brand.
Andrei Mincov, founder and chief executive officer of the Trademark Factory, said that in most cases “there’s a gray area between a knockoff and a counterfeit because it is not always clear if certain features of an item can serve and are recognized as a trademark.”
In the case of the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman being up for sale on Houzz, the seller clearly stated it was a replica (giving the design credit as due) and offered a good/ affordable price for it (which is a service design professionals should be able to offer clients).
In my honest opinion, I don’t see the fuss about Houzz knock-off’s, unless the brand can prove that a consumer has been misled. Clients and consumers want what they want.
Here are some of the reactions to the petition raised by the InteriorDesignersCommunity on Instagram.
You can read the full petition Here or sign it if you wish.