Finding inspiration in a rival’s best-selling products to develop your own after modifying enough features to avoid copyright infringement trials is one thing, but shamelessly cloning everything about an iPhone, Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy S6 and trying to pass off your cheap knockoff as the original is an entirely different kettle of fish.
That’s actually not only morally wrong, it’s full-on illegal, and the US Customs and Border Protection is cracking down on imports of counterfeit goods from China or Hong Kong. The latest such shipment confiscated and prevented to reach unsuspecting American buyers was made of roughly 350 “smart wristbands”, and entered the United States on December 4, 2015.
Exactly one month later, the wearable devices were deemed fake and seized, as “intellectual property rights enforcement is a CBP priority trade issue, and a mission that we take very seriously.”
While we don’t have written confirmation of the make and model the Asian clone savants were aiming to duplicate, and the cargo’s only photo released to the press is obscured, Fitbit logos (or something closely resembling them) are fairly easy to discern.
It’s also safe to assume the $100 Fitbit Flex was the specific gadget replicated for shady purposes, which in a way, is a compliment to the smart band veteran. Obviously, Fitbits are in great demand, and knockoff designers feel they can make an easy profit off the manufacturer’s success and brand recognition. When the long arm of the law doesn’t reach them, that is.