Stealing Fruit: A Cautionary Tale of Intellectual Property Theft Causing a Business to Go Under
Tania Katsanis ran a multi award winning online business for 12.5 years called Flowers by Fruit. Tania built her business from the ground up – she was focused on "delivering happiness" not only to her customers but also for her team. Flowers by Fruit was revolutionary in redefining edible gifts. Tania and her team created edible chocolate strawberry and fruit bouquets and arrangements for any occasion. The brand and the business had a loyal following and had built a strong reputation for delivering high quality products and providing exceptional service.
Because of the success of Flowers by Fruit and the legal loopholes that allowed online breaches, Tania's competitors got away with using her registered business name and trademark to generate sales for their own inferior, unprotected products. This created massive confusion for customers seeking authentic Flowers by Fruit products – many , mistakenly ordered clearly inferior products, and were severely disappointed with their experience.
The end result negatively impacted Flowers by Fruit -- the platforms such as Google and Facebook unlawfully allowed it to happen, despite the fact only Tania had the legal right to use her registered trademark in the floral and retail industries.
After spending years trying to be heard to protect the Flowers by Fruit brand, Tania made the heartbreaking decision to close a very successful and profitable business in 2018.
Financial Foreplay® Highlights
1. Watch your sales trends very carefully – trends can highlight and help you pinpoint potential infringements of your brand online via digital attacks and unlawful use.
2. Watch out for declines in online orders, product quality issues raised by “customers” who were fooled, and competitive products showing up for online searches of your business name and/or registered trademark.
3. Negative links may be invisible to you but make no mistake they are having a severe, detrimental impact on your organic search ranking on Google
4. Top tips:
a. It is still extremely important to protect your business name with a registered trademark
b. Consider selecting a unique name that has never been used before as it may be easier to trademark, protect, and defend
c. Take your concerns to politicians, media, and other business owners as potential viable options to legal action – together we can raise awareness and prevent use and abuse going unreported and undetected
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