Someone stole my design!

Hi guys,
I really need your help this time!
Someone might have got “inspired” by my design!
Some of you might know my Light Drop lamp, if you don´t, you can see it here in this link:

It´s been featured in hundreds of design related websites and magazines, and it won the third prize in the Design Boom´s competition Bright LED, 2007.
It´s coming to massive production this year, by

There is a French guy who got “inspired” by my design and concept (he named it Scenedo lampe) and he is selling his version over the internet!
He have already participated in design fairs like Maison and Object this year.
Here is the link to his website:

My original lamp was published even in French magazines like HOME and AD.

What can I do about it?

Can you help me with this one guys? Please?

Please, let me know what you think.


Rafael Morgan.

PS: This post was edited to stop causing polemics.

Hmm, I think you might be screwed on that one. It doesn’t look so much as a rip-off as “taking inspiration” from your design. His version doesn’t have lightbulbs dripping from the faucets, but rather embedded inside them. That’s a pretty big difference.

I don’t think you can patent absolutely any combination of faucet and light – nor would you want to. Your version looks better, and has had a lot of exposure. His does not and has not.

I think it helps to remember the saying: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Theres nothing you can do. Look at how many Chinese iphone knockoffs have spewed onto the market. His design is not identical, so a design patent won’t hold any weight. He’s not in your same country and unless you have a killer international legal team, you don’t have the resources to do anything about it.

There also isn’t any date on it, so it’s entirely possible that his idea came out before yours (you did say his was in production already and yours was not) but you just haven’t seen it until now. Not uncommon for two designers somewhere on earth to have a similar idea at one point or another.

I think your pretty much out of luck on this one. Definitely do your research into this guy and his light as well. Like mention above, you never know if he actually came up with this before you. You wouldn’t want to make a big stink to find out he did it first.

I’m sure you could hear an endless amount of stories on this board, it happens to everyone, myself included. Its the nature of the business. I know it sucks to hear but you just got to suck it up and move on. Be proud of the fact that side by side, your design blows his away! You are just going to have to do a better marketing job now if you want the upper hand.

I also feel that its not a rip-off but used as inspiration. To me, he took your contemporary style and turned it into a much more industrial looking fixture. I don’t think that a consumer would consider one over the other, they belong in two completely different environments in my opinion.

And on a side note, that Dark website has got to be one of the most annoying websites I have even been too!!

same sort of deal on a much larger scale…LG using the iphone menu as “inspiration” if you will…

Im sure they weren’t happy either:(

One more thing… The “world-wide copyright laws” are barely worth the paper they’re printed on. And unless you’re prepared to lawyer-up ($$$$) and defend a patent infringement in various international courts your patent may not be worth much either.

It’s tough for the little guy to protect a design these days. It might be better for you to sell your patented design to a larger company for production and patent defense.

Good luck!!

Yeah…I think you´re right guys.
I´ve already contacted the guy. Now let´s just wait to see what he will do about this.
Anyway, It´s a very very poor copy…At least I would not buy one of those.
And most part of his products are crap anyway.
Talent is one thing that he will never have…And fortunately he can´t steal it either!
Just wait for my lamp guys! Dark is doing a terrific job producing it!
Thanks so much for your feedback.

You could have a lawyer send a threatening letter. That wouldn’t cost much and might scare him into stopping. Other than that you have to sue him and keep it in court until one of you goes bankrupt.

I think maybe a welcoming to the professional world may be in order.

besides, imatation is a form of flattery right?

I think they should teach more about ETHICS in design schools.
I would not steal a design…Stealing a design is almost a certificate that you are an incompetent, awful professional.
This is not how a “professional world” should be.

My advice…

Take the high road on this one - certainly it is well within your right to pursue your rights on this project but I would avoid any public name calling or statements about another designers lack of talent. Those things can come back to haunt you - and they don’t really help. It is a very emotional event and I’m sure you feel cheated - but I would focus your energies into making and marketing your product to the best of your ability and beat him that way.

As has been statd by previous posts - there are countless examples where succesful designs are “knocked off” or used as inspiration. The cream usually rises to the top though.

good luck.

Thanks van_ID.
This is actually a good piece of advice!

Take what van_ID says to heart. It’s easy to get worked up about this but you’re not going to get anything out of it besides maybe an internet flame war and raised blood pressure.

Take the high road on this one and blow it off. Feel good about the fact that your design is the one thats getting acclaim.

Yeah, you´re right Cyberdemon…
I will just relax here and play some blues in my brand new handmade Stratocaster…
Thanks guys!

Don’t underestimate the power of this discussion thread.

So far over 200 designers have viewed it. Because Core77 is heavily trafficed, Google will index it and place it high on the search results of anyone googling his name for years to come.

Hi CG.
I guess you´re right.

Devil’s Advocate Time…we’ve been down this “copy” route before.

How do we know that you didn’t copy/draw inspiration from his design?

You have provided zero proof that your timeline preceeded his. If in fact your design did NOT preceed his, this thread could hurt you. In this context, it is slanderous, frankly.

Let’s consider it from the other angle:

A post from a guy named Maxime Chanet shows up on the Core77 Design forums claiming Rafael Morgan stole HIS design. This Rafael Morgan dude won all sorts of awards from it. Mr. Chanet asks everyone to write to Mr. Morgan asking him to stop. Chanet gets his posting up first and wins the backing of the forum.

The first to scream plagerism, or the one who screams plagerism the loudest doesn’t win. Take some cues from the Orbea/Kestrel debacle: Someone stole my bike - Design Plagiarism

Does this mean we’re all gonna be famous!?!

Good luck with the project, You will have to post some final product shots for us to see!

Yeah ip_wirelessly, that´s valid point of view.
But I will have to disagree with it.

–My design had a lot of exposure, including French magazines Home and Architectural Digest. We can´t forget he is French either.
–My design won a third prize in a cool design competition.
–If you google for “Light Drop” you will have more then 27.000 results.
–Before taking it to production, I did a huge research with all key-words related to this concept.

After all this exposure, no one contacted me saying something about design coincidences or similarities…this kind of stuff.

I researched this Maxime Chanet guy a bit…

I’ve found blogs reviewing his lighting products back to 2005.

I also found a comment on a blog specifically talking about his ‘light drop’ version March 11th of 2007.
This specific blog was documenting his ‘light drop’ in full-on production version, on the shelves, listing details where to purchase the design.

Found another post listing his personal website went up public in 2005.

Found another blog showing a quality photograph of a production version of his ‘light drop’ in back March 2007.


You can disagree all you want. You still have not PROVEN that they copied you. I repeat…Mr. Chanet is not guilty until proven innocent. He is innocent until PROVEN guilty.

I have seen design’s like yours in other’s portfolios. You’ve gotten it out to production, congrats. Make your money. Take it to court if he has in fact “stolen” your design and is damaging your sales.

I will tell you, that I am more inclined to write this guy and let him know that you are dragging his name through the mud without due process, not to ask him to stop doing what he’s doing.

I strongly believe that these discussion forums are not correct forum for this problem.

And if I were the judge, based on what has been presented here is that you don’t have a leg to stand on. Your design is a custom design, his is based on found objects.

So there you go. My conclusion has been drawn.