Monday, April 23, 2018
What Harley Davidson’s $19.2M Throttling Of Sunfrog REALLY Means… And It’s Not The Money; Above The Law, April 23, 2018
Tom Kulik, Above The Law; What Harley Davidson’s $19.2M Throttling Of Sunfrog REALLY Means… And It’s Not The Money
"The point here is that rapid growth and success makes being proactive even more essential to the business. Rather than follow-through with significant steps to stop the printing of infringing products, something got lost in the process and Sunfrog simply couldn’t get its arms around the scope of the problem. In effect, Sunfrog’s failure to effectively address this problem made Sunfrog a counterfeiter — it permitted the printing of infringing designs on T-shirts sold through its website, making Sunfrog a nice profit in the process. Of course, this was never Sunfrog’s intent — it set out to create a highly successful platform for printing custom T-shirts online, and in fact, succeeded in doing so. That said, it also underestimated the extent to which a sizable part of its business model required intellectual property oversight — an oversight that is now costing them in both monetary and reputation damages.
Ultimately, the Sunfrog case is highly instructive on a number of levels, but the failure to appreciate the scope and extent of intellectual property oversight by Sunfrog is telling. Whether your company or client is a startup or an already successful going concern, the use of intellectual property can never be taken for granted. When it comes to intellectual property rights, companies ignoring their impact do so at their own risk. The good news is that warning signs usually present themselves at some point. The bad news is that such signs can be ignored or otherwise under-appreciated. That is the real point here, and a risk that your company (or client) shouldn’t take — just ask Sunfrog."