Exactly how beauty brands get away with dupes.

The key thing to note here is inspiration vs. not imitation. And this is one critical part of creating dupes that won’t attract negative legal attention, explains Rebecca Wood, Practice Group Leader at LegalVision.

“There are certainly a lot of dupes out there,” she says, not only in the beauty world, but in fashion, and even food marketing. “So there’s always a lot of questions about: how can they do that? Isn’t that infringement on intellectual property?”

The first thing to understand is, what are the sources of intellectual property? 

“It’s [about] making sure that when [companies] are marketing products that they’re, firstly, not infringing on trademarks… making sure that they understand the IP rights of these other companies that they’re trying to copy, and really making sure that they’re distancing themselves in terms of their own marketing.”

Problems can arise, Rebecca explains, when companies try to “mislead consumers into thinking that if they buy this particular product, they’re actually buying the product of the other manufacturer”.

“Companies can’t create marketplace confusion or engage in any conduct that would be considered misleading and deceptive,” she says. “So again, when it comes down to branding and marketing their products, the dupe companies need to make sure that they’re really doing something different, so they’re not creating any confusion in the marketplace.”