Fake It Till You Make It: The Rise Of Dupes

Have you ever heard of the word “dupes”?

Dupes is another name for a product or item that is a near-identical substitute for a high-end product at a lower price. 

Dupes Not only exist in the make-up industry, but fast fashion brands also regularly dupe large brands and trending products.

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So, is there a legal way to define a dupe? Or how does a company get away with making dupes?

On today’s episode of The Briefing, we talked to Marlia Saunders from Thomson Geer Lawyers, who specialises in intellectual property law. 

Dupes have been around for years, but their popularity has surged recently, driven by economic pressures and viral online reviews. Ms Saunders said dupes are the grey area under IP law. 

“They’re different from counterfeit goods, so counterfeit goods are usually an identical reproduction of the original product,” she said.

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Although dupes do not claim to be the original but closely mimic the product’s look and feel, this distinction makes it challenging to take legal action against dupes. 

“Traders aren’t necessarily willing to pursue legal proceedings and circumstances where it’s not certain whether they’ll be successful. And there’s a lot of cost involved,” she added.

Dupes often originate from overseas, complicating legal proceedings due to varying international standards. 

For small businesses, fighting against dupes can be especially challenging due to limited legal budgets. 

“But at the same time, you can understand why people love dupes. Because they satisfy different markets, I think.”

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