What is Porsche doing?

The latest drama over at Porsche…We’ve heard of this before in transportation, but not like this on the net…
Gilsung Park was an undergraduate when I taught at SNUT in Seoul…

The sliver bomb lives!

I read about this car (the alleged knockoff) on Jalopnik recently. Dany Bahar's Coachbuilding Company Will Hack Your C8 Corvette Into A Gorgeous Supercar

It’s a re-worked Corvette C8

You can only really tell on the inside- the outside is a big departure.

The windshield-less Spyder S2 version is a more comparable color to the original student project:


A lot of hypercar designs have some similar looks…

But the details here are dead-on. Gilsung Park has been working at Porsche since 2015, so I imagine he is well-connected enough to get the proper credit. https://www.linkedin.com/in/gilsung-park-14562210b/?originalSubdomain=de

How is Porsche involved in any of this? Its a student’s concept project.

I would agree that the Aries borrowed some of the design, notably the back end, which is where these types of cars probably have the biggest freedom with design. Boo hoo. Get over it. Its a damn thesis project not your livelihood. Good way to get your name out there though. Congrats on that!

As mentioned in the article, it is likely Porsche owns the IP as they sponsored the project.

Very cool.

I for one hope, that Porsche in fact got an IP on that and is already “doing” something about it. Deminishing it as a mere “student thesis” is frightening from a designer standpoint.
This is more than “inspired by”, it is a blatant rippoff.

And at other places “on the net”, which are less design centric, it is viewed just as critically.

The conclusion pistonheads is coming to on page 2 is especially hilarious. :wink:


Oh, I see it now. That IS a direct rip off. That is shitty. I guess my original point was, what are you going to do about it? The project got you a job at Porsche. Now you have the backing of a huge company and their legal department with your work moving forward. I am glad this is getting attention though. Hopefully enough so to get Porsche involved or to shame Aries enough in this exclusive market that so few people will support/buy it.

Aside from Park getting a job with Porsche after designing a nice concept, what has this got to do with Porsche? I don’t understand your subject title. Shouldn’t it be what is Gilsung Park doing?

“Shouldn’t it be what is Gilsung Park doing?”
Yes. He’s making himself out to be a big whiny baby. If Ares is going radio-silence Park could just take credit for their design, put it in his portfolio, and say he was responsible for all of it. Imitation and form of flattery and all that. Most of the time people wait a little longer to rip something off, but 5 years is a long time in Instagram years. Move on, dude.

I’m surprised to see takes like this here. Not only was an amazing amount of creative labor stolen, but in doing so, other designers were robbed of work on an original project. The designers having to start and finish with someone else’s vision are victims to some degree too.

On the other hand, even in CPG there is plenty of inspiration going uncredited. But as much as probably-vaporware supercars will never be a part of my life, I would rather support a designer when they are being ripped off than tell them they’re a whiny baby.

It upsets me, but I think this is now socially acceptable in business worldwide. As a designer, I feel the worse part is that we have less real work to do because so many “entrepreneurs” just want us to CAD someone else’s design.

I’m surprised to see takes like this here. Not only was an amazing amount of creative labor stolen, but in doing so, other designers were robbed of work on an original project. The designers having to start and finish with someone else’s vision are victims to some degree too.

I don’t have any reason to doubt the designer’s narrative about “what happened”, and belief in that aspect doesn’t also mean the designer isn’t being a whiny baby. What’s his end-goal with airing this out? What did he intend to achieve with making noise on the internet? Maybe a slacktivist signature petition to cancel Ares?

The more I look at the two of them, the more I spot differences. The biggest is the front of the Porsche concept is round, the Ares is faceted from the top view. The Porsche has some kind of flying buttress a-pillar. The vent behind the front wheels on the top of the fender is different. The rear of the Porsche seems to have some kind of floating bar in it that is absent on the Ares. Last, the headlights and hood venting is very different.

I think if this was a crossover, we probably wouldn’t be so critical.

This is interesting. Toyota sells like 10 billion dollars of Rav4s every year in North America alone. I think Ares is only making a couple dozen of these supercars. If the new Nissan Rogue or whatever was suspiciously similar to a student project, I would think it would be a much bigger deal.

Design ‘borrowing’ by Chinese manufacturers has turned BMW, Fiat, Land Rover, and even Porsche into big ol’ crybabies. In the Fiat case, Fiat cried and whined so hard that Great Wall’s knockoff Panda could not be imported into Europe.

Porsche’s Slacktivist Signature Petition against the Zotye T700 didn’t go anywhere though… probably because the headlights and hood venting were “very different.”

So where do you draw the line? Is it just that corporations have more of a right to defend their IP than individual designers?

I think everyone has the same right to attempt to protect their design, not everyone has the same amount of capital to do so. Enforcing IP is can get very expensive and can be more about leverage. I remember once I was involved in an IP issue when I was working for a smaller company. A much larger brand had launched a similar product with a very similar name about year later. Our legal team sent a cease and desist and their legal team fired back that they had a bigger legal team and plenty of time so go ahead and sue… our legal team felt like the odds of winning were too low to justify the expense of pursuing granting that the competitors product might be just different enough to squeak out a loss. I think we should have gone after them, but it wasn’t my call… then I’ve seen others that seem frivolous, like patenting a specific interaction in an app, but because the judge might not be educated enough on digital products it settles out of court…

That interior though… yikes. That said, if that Zotye went to Europe would people shopping for a Porsche consider it? Probably not. I suppose the argument is it is hurting the image of the Porsche brand.

My company’s parent company was recently acquired by an even larger Chinese consortium. An interesting upshot of this, is that we are now pursuing ornamental patent protection in China, as it is an area of strategic growth for us and therefore the new parent company has a stake in protecting our ID there. Prior to this acquisition it wasn’t something we were able to do anything about.

But back OT, +1 to what Yo said, its more about the size of your legal team and how much effort you will throw at it. That’s why it seems uninformed or naive to make a big fuss about another company ‘stealing’ your design work. If Porsche isn’t concerned (as they most likely own the design work done as a sponsored project) then good luck finding another set of lawyers to sue on your behalf.

What I love about looking at Chinese copies is how it shows that last 5% of design refinement is worth 80% of the design impact. The Panda and Macan look so much better. I’d actually be scared to drive that Great Wall, it looks like something will fall off in the first block of driving.

When I was 24, I was all about IP. Having read a bit about it and how badly and randomly it is adjudicated, I’ve lost my enthusiasm.

Clearly, the way IP is currently handled is as good as it is going to get-- What is there to even discuss?

This argument is almost exactly what I tell young designers or inventors I’ve worked with who “need the patent”. The patent is only as valuable as your legal force you can put behind it, especially when stuck dealing with international law. As described, patent law (at least US based) is shaped most heavily by big corporate lobbies just like tax laws, EPA laws, etc. That makes corporations treat them like nuclear warheads. The more you have the more weight you can threaten. When I was with Motorola I regularly recall conversations of “Well we have the Wi-Fi patents so if someone wants to infringe on us, we’ll take away their radios!” whenever any competitive IP discussions were happening.

Most small companies and individuals have realized it’s better to have the brand, the first to market advantage, or the quality advantages that make just copying shapes irrelevant. I assume almost no one who has the budget would be shopping for a Porsche would buy the sort of Porsche shaped Chinese thing instead.

+1 Mike!

It would be nice if we could have a dedicated IP judge(s) to handle these cases. It seems like a crapshoot when it gets to court.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. The copycat of the Porsche project is done poorly. There’s not much gained in taking a really streamlined, elegant solution with obvious Porsche DNA and making it all XXXtreme with vents and aggressive crap. Why?

IP is certainly a game or clout and pocketbooks vs. Ideas, but I always do find it funny when designers land on both sides. On one hand we realize ideas are nothing without execution and ideas a “free”, so “who cares”, and on the other we see ideas as our lively hood, so it’s “protect at all costs”.

Then there are designers saying IP is important writing from a knock off Designer chair…