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fake chinese clubs


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Additionally, intellectual property laws are one of the best protections of capitalism.

Yes and no. In theory having limited protection of new ideas is a good idea. Ideally such protection would last long enough for you to bring the items to market and to make some profit. However, in general when a new product is brought to market, the company who first produces the item generally has a tremendous advantage simply because they ARE first to market. For example: There are many iphone knockoffs but none are even close to working anything like the iPhone. It will be some time before someone will be able to successfully make a counterfeit iphone.

Same goes for Golf Clubs. Those of us who buy the latest and greatest will look for the originals from those companies we trust. I don't have so much trouble with knockoffs. What I find harmful is counterfeits trying to pass themselves as the original. That hurts the brand identity. Very often however intellectual property / patent laws hurt competition more than they help it. When drug companies get 17+ year patents on a drug simply by making some minor change to the formulation... this helps nobody. IMO patents should be severely limited to 3-5 years. If you haven't brought an item to market by then, it simply ain't gonna happen.
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Glad i came across this, i have been emailing a chinese site that sells oakley sunglasses for $46. i asked if they were real and he said yes because they are clearing stock. i was going to buy them thinking i was going to get a deal! haha
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I don't have so much trouble with knockoffs. What I find harmful is counterfeits trying to pass themselves as the original. That hurts the brand identity.

You are confusing copyright laws and patent laws.

Patent law covers inventions. Someone develops a new ball cover material. They could patent it. Patents (I believe) last for 20 years. Personally, I think that is a fair amount of time. Copyright covers "artistic" efforts. Books, paintings, a company logo, a company name. Copyrights used to be the life of the creator +50 years (not sure if it has been changed.) If you wrote a book, you would retain the copyright for your lifetime (and your heirs for 50 years after your death.) This, imho, is fair. When someone makes a club exactly like a Mizuno, they aren't violating any laws until they stamp "Mizuno" on it, then they are violating COPYRIGHT laws.
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When someone makes a club exactly like a Mizuno, they aren't violating any laws until they stamp "Mizuno" on it, then they are violating COPYRIGHT laws.

I don't believe that is exactly true. You are right that it can be a violation of copyright law, but it can also be a violation of patent law. Patents can cover a wide variety of unique elements, including materials, shapes, manufacturing techniques, and even business methods. By patent law, an inventor (i.e. company) could get patent protection on the shape of a club head, or the curvature of the face, or an internal shell structure in the clubhead, etc. A counterfeit therefore can violate patent law (the club features) AND copyright law (use of the Mizuno name).

For a little fun reading, check out http://www.patentlygolf.com/ and http://www.golf-patents.com/
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When someone makes a club exactly like a Mizuno, they aren't violating any laws until they stamp "Mizuno" on it, then they are violating COPYRIGHT laws.

Yeah, that's not right at all. I agree with the guy just above me.

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I don't believe that is exactly true. You are right that it can be a violation of copyright law, but it can also be a violation of patent law. Patents can cover a wide variety of unique elements, including materials, shapes, manufacturing techniques, and even business methods. By patent law, an inventor (i.e. company) could get patent protection on the shape of a club head, or the curvature of the face, or an internal shell structure in the clubhead, etc. A counterfeit therefore can violate patent law (the club features) AND copyright law (use of the Mizuno name).

You are correct. IF there is technology patented in the club, then they are violating patent laws. Actually, now that I think of it, the use of the logo falls under trademark law, not copyright.

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The thing with knockoffs though is that a lot of time they are made in the same factory as the authentic stuff - I mean there is no way to confirm that obviously but when a US company goes out there they dont hire a construction company and build a factory themselves. All these factories are already there and a they contract with american companies to build their stuff - so ill bet wherever nike gets its stuff made probably also makes stuff for mizuno, callaway and other golf companies. Apparel and other goods work the same way. A lot of bootlegging is the owner of those factories making more product than they were contracted to make and then selling that on the black market - whatever they sell if for is all profit. I'm still to paranoid to buy them though on the chance that they are hittable pieces of garbage.
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