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Chinese Pens -- Too Many Look Like Counterfeits!

fakes counterfeits chinese pens indian pens

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168 replies to this topic

#141 rochester21

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 17:02

 These folk seem to be totally willing and able to ignore the concept of intellectual property rights.   Theft is theft.

 

Intellectual property rights? Theft is theft? In that case, the history of technological development is a big succession of thefts. I don`t think you really want to discuss these issues.

 

Here`s a short example showing why(not directly related to pens):

http://www.disclose....oom-t35026.html

 

 

By the way, i`m going to patent everything i ever said on FPN, that way nobody will ever benefit from my experience or knowledge- without paying me, of course.  Imagine if everyone gave me a dollar for every smart(or dumb) thing that i ever said.  I`d be a millionaire for sure.

I mean, what did the man(or woman) who first discovered fire and the wheel do next? They patented their inventions, naturally.  I should do the same, then.

 

 After all, what`s the point of sharing knowledge with others if that`s not going to get you any money, right?

Human existence is motivated solely by the pursuit for more money.  


Edited by rochester21, 31 May 2014 - 05:29.


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#142 TSherbs

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 19:43

Moshe,

 

Do you object to more than one manufacturer making yellow wooden pencils with pink erasers other than the first company to actually design said writing instrument? Or can anyone make a yellow wooden pencil with 6 facets and a round pink eraser of approximately 8 inches of length as long as they have their own brand name on it?



#143 dcwaites

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 23:56

I think I understand now. What we are discussing is a moral rule (Thou shalt not imitate after the expiry date) that has no basis in any country's law, or, for that matter, in any existing moral code that I am aware of. 


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#144 legume

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 04:41

There's nothing wrong with imitation. It's human. Everyone does it and it's as old as time. Sorry for not agreeing with your agenda OP, which by the way smacks of nationalism. It's always implied in these kinds of threads and it irks me that apparently you're not allowed to point it out. The reason Chinese manufacturers are producing copies is because so much of the world's manufacturing takes place in China. If the US was a huge manufacturer, Americans would be doing it too. The reason they produce it cheaply is because that's what EVERY COMPANY EVER DOES. Some companies just have the weight and gall to charge more than others.

 

And who decides which design elements are ok to copy and which are not? There is no such thing as intellectual property. Anyone who thinks they came up with anything is flattering themselves. There is NOTHING morally wrong with copying. There's a reason copyright expires. If anything, it's funny that you consider copying design elements to be worse than copying engineering and manufacturing elements.

 

What's wrong with the Jinhao 159? Do you have a problem with more than one brand making cigar shaped pens with a clip and metal trim? What right does Parker have to their arrow clip? It's in the shape of an arrow. How do you copyright an arrow?

 

No one is buying a Hero or Jinhao thinking it's anything but a Hero or Jinhao. They brand their products with their own name. Consumers who buy these "copies" aren't inferior in any way to those who buy the "originals".



#145 Matth13

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:33

This is an interesting post. I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on the issue. Personally, I find it a bit distasteful for Chinese companies to produce these "homage" pens. Though, at the end of the day, no real crime is being committed. As was stated before, these companies are putting their own names on the pens.  As long as these pens are not true counterfeits, then I don't have an issue. Lastly, the affects of these replica pens on the sales of their more well known counterparts are probably negligible anyway. Most people that purchase an homage pen (Myself included) probably did not intend to purchase the original (At least on the date of purchasing the Chinese pen). Everyone enjoy your pens, replica or not. As for me, I have a Baoer 388 heading my way that I can't wait to get my hands on.  :D 



#146 TSherbs

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 13:43

There's nothing wrong with imitation. It's human. Everyone does it and it's as old as time. Sorry for not agreeing with your agenda OP, which by the way smacks of nationalism. It's always implied in these kinds of threads and it irks me that apparently you're not allowed to point it out. The reason Chinese manufacturers are producing copies is because so much of the world's manufacturing takes place in China. If the US was a huge manufacturer, Americans would be doing it too. The reason they produce it cheaply is because that's what EVERY COMPANY EVER DOES. Some companies just have the weight and gall to charge more than others.

 

And who decides which design elements are ok to copy and which are not? There is no such thing as intellectual property. Anyone who thinks they came up with anything is flattering themselves. There is NOTHING morally wrong with copying. There's a reason copyright expires. If anything, it's funny that you consider copying design elements to be worse than copying engineering and manufacturing elements.

 

What's wrong with the Jinhao 159? Do you have a problem with more than one brand making cigar shaped pens with a clip and metal trim? What right does Parker have to their arrow clip? It's in the shape of an arrow. How do you copyright an arrow?

 

No one is buying a Hero or Jinhao thinking it's anything but a Hero or Jinhao. They brand their products with their own name. Consumers who buy these "copies" aren't inferior in any way to those who buy the "originals".

Nationalism, for sure. I wonder if religions should have intellectual property rights so that we could call subsequent models with borrowed design features "frauds" or "thieves"? Or how about forms of government? 

 

The Chinese have taken a good bit of heat here for a practice that is not, nor has ever been, exclusively Chinese. In fact, the first PC I owned was made in the good old US of A and it was called a "clone" and there was a line out the door to purchase these things from good ol' American boys putting them together in garages. God (a cloned idea, itself) bless free capitalism.



#147 Tootles

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 20:58

Look at all the copies of Midori Traveler notebook covers.Talk about 'stealing' the whole design. :rolleyes:



#148 TSherbs

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 21:39

...... As for me, I have a Baoer 388 heading my way that I can't wait to get my hands on.  :D 

Benn enjoying mine for about a month now. I really like it (I have the green, loaded with PR Spearmint). 



#149 Betweenthelines

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 22:19

Warning: Opinions

 

Oh boy - Moshe, I made a thread similar to this a while back (and it got closed by a mod) because I share your ethical objection to buying Chinese knockoffs.  So no, you're not alone.  I sometimes would get worked up about it, but have since realized that that is really my own sh*t and feel like I can take a step back and not try to be such a control freak.  At the end of the day, there will -always- be a market like this, with companies copying other companies' designs and selling them for cheap, it's the nature of free(ish) market economy and iffy copyright loopholes (plus a country like China that doesn't regulate this sort of thing, so enforcement is near impossible).  C'est la vie. 

 

Bottom line, it's the consumer's personal preference, we speak with our wallets, and you get what you pay for.  The price tags reflect the quality, and in the end, people will gravitate towards quality when they can afford to, because the quality stands out, even if they -look- identical.  When people are looking for pen recommendations, it's the authentic Safari's and the 51's that get recommended first, because their quality is higher and worth the higher price tag.  So, it always balances out.   Like others have said, as long as they're not using the actual name of the original brand (though this certainly also happens plenty when it comes to Chinese-made products), they're at least not deceiving the customer. 

 

For me, personally, I find the knockoffs distasteful, but as long as they are not negatively impacting the original companies that provide the true ingenuity or preventing my ability to have access to the original quality products, it's just a mild annoyance.  It's just the natural order of things.. I choose to use the power of my $$ to voice my opinion by buying the originals, others don't have any beef with the copy cats and buy them by the dozen... as far as I can tell, everyone wins?  I don't think Lamy, Parker, et al are really being hurt by the Chinese brands.  Because let's face it, no matter how much you doll up a cheaply made product, at the end of the day it remains cheaply made and you are left with the karmic result - whether it be a pen that has overt flaws/falls apart, or simply a pen that no longer sees any use and collects dust in your drawer because you have moved on to the higher quality models.  

 

One last note - I also have to recognize that it is my privilege that allows me to avoid the Chinese brands.  If I only had $5 to spend on a pen, I would far prefer to buy a cheap Chinese fountain pen than to settle for a disposable ballpoint or the like.


Edited by Betweenthelines, 31 May 2014 - 22:24.


#150 TSherbs

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 00:33

Betweenthelines:  Do you extend your objections to any/all design imitations in the marketplace?



#151 orfew

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 00:45

Warning: Opinions

 

Oh boy - Moshe, I made a thread similar to this a while back (and it got closed by a mod) because I share your ethical objection to buying Chinese knockoffs.  So no, you're not alone.  I sometimes would get worked up about it, but have since realized that that is really my own sh*t and feel like I can take a step back and not try to be such a control freak.  At the end of the day, there will -always- be a market like this, with companies copying other companies' designs and selling them for cheap, it's the nature of free(ish) market economy and iffy copyright loopholes (plus a country like China that doesn't regulate this sort of thing, so enforcement is near impossible).  C'est la vie. 

 

Bottom line, it's the consumer's personal preference, we speak with our wallets, and you get what you pay for.  The price tags reflect the quality, and in the end, people will gravitate towards quality when they can afford to, because the quality stands out, even if they -look- identical.  When people are looking for pen recommendations, it's the authentic Safari's and the 51's that get recommended first, because their quality is higher and worth the higher price tag.  So, it always balances out.   Like others have said, as long as they're not using the actual name of the original brand (though this certainly also happens plenty when it comes to Chinese-made products), they're at least not deceiving the customer. 

 

For me, personally, I find the knockoffs distasteful, but as long as they are not negatively impacting the original companies that provide the true ingenuity or preventing my ability to have access to the original quality products, it's just a mild annoyance.  It's just the natural order of things.. I choose to use the power of my $$ to voice my opinion by buying the originals, others don't have any beef with the copy cats and buy them by the dozen... as far as I can tell, everyone wins?  I don't think Lamy, Parker, et al are really being hurt by the Chinese brands.  Because let's face it, no matter how much you doll up a cheaply made product, at the end of the day it remains cheaply made and you are left with the karmic result - whether it be a pen that has overt flaws/falls apart, or simply a pen that no longer sees any use and collects dust in your drawer because you have moved on to the higher quality models.  

 

One last note - I also have to recognize that it is my privilege that allows me to avoid the Chinese brands.  If I only had $5 to spend on a pen, I would far prefer to buy a cheap Chinese fountain pen than to settle for a disposable ballpoint or the like.

Very well said. Thanks for posting this.


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#152 Betweenthelines

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:26

Betweenthelines:  Do you extend your objections to any/all design imitations in the marketplace?

 

Ah.. and here lies the ironic truth that makes me somewhat of a hypocrite - I'm criticizing these Chinese brands for ripping off the Safari/51 design, and yet I own a Pilot Custom 742 and am shopping for a Sailor 1911 - and they both (especially the Sailor) arguably ripped off Mont Blanc's design (in the 146).   So where does the line get drawn?  Who knows...   I have a bias towards Japanese pens because of their quality, but does that really make it any "better"?  Probably not.  I think the reason why I don't feel so ruffled about the imitation in design of the 146 in the Japanese pens is because it is relatively generic (cigar with gold accents), whereas an imitation of a Safari or Parker 51 is so much more glaring (to me, anyways).  To a Mont Blanc fan, I'm sure those that imitate their designs are just as glaring, and perhaps just as objectionable.  It's really all subjective, and the reality is I have my biases just like every other person.  Good thing is, I'm entitled to them as I'm the only person I have to please!

 

When it comes down to it I can't be too perturbed about imitation, innovation thrives on it.  We are constantly building on (and hopefully improving) one another's designs.  And just as I may believe a 146 is overpriced and prefer to put my money into Japanese pens, so may a person believe a Parker 51 is overpriced and prefer the Chinese imitation.  Again, it just comes back to personal preference.  :wacko:   

 

Edit:  Now this is funny - Did a little sleuthing and member Bo Bo Olson points out that both the Mont Blanc and the 1911 copied their design from the Sheaffer New Balance.  Sheaffer New Balance of the 30's inspires the Mont Blanc of the 50's inspires the Sailor and Pilot of the 21st century!  Round and round we go!  

 

I suppose this is why we can't ever b*tch too much about imitation!  I do believe though that there is a line between what's tasteful imitation and distasteful imitation.  If I could lay it out here explicitly I would, but alas I suppose it must remain arbitrary.  


Edited by Betweenthelines, 01 June 2014 - 01:41.


#153 jvr

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:30

I agree many Chinese pens look like copies of famous designs, but since they don't claim to be what they look like, they're not counterfeits.

Also, nobody expects them to be as much of a quality product.

I've bought a few Chinese pens that are basically knockoffs. I have two Jinhao's 159, but that's because I know I would never ever buy a Mont Blanc 149: too big for real use, for me. I also have the Jinhao 15, which has the shape of a Waterman that costs $1100, a price I would never plunk down for a pen.

In all other cases, I've bought the real thing (MB 146, other classic pens) or I'm not interested.
No signature. I'm boring that way.

#154 TSherbs

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 02:18

 

Ah.. and here lies the ironic truth that makes me somewhat of a hypocrite - I'm criticizing these Chinese brands for ripping off the Safari/51 design, and yet I own a Pilot Custom 742 and am shopping for a Sailor 1911 - and they both (especially the Sailor) arguably ripped off Mont Blanc's design (in the 146).   So where does the line get drawn?  Who knows...   I have a bias towards Japanese pens because of their quality, but does that really make it any "better"?  Probably not.  I think the reason why I don't feel so ruffled about the imitation in design of the 146 in the Japanese pens is because it is relatively generic (cigar with gold accents), whereas an imitation of a Safari or Parker 51 is so much more glaring (to me, anyways).  To a Mont Blanc fan, I'm sure those that imitate their designs are just as glaring, and perhaps just as objectionable.  It's really all subjective, and the reality is I have my biases just like every other person.  Good thing is, I'm entitled to them as I'm the only person I have to please!

 

When it comes down to it I can't be too perturbed about imitation, innovation thrives on it.  We are constantly building on (and hopefully improving) one another's designs.  And just as I may believe a 146 is overpriced and prefer to put my money into Japanese pens, so may a person believe a Parker 51 is overpriced and prefer the Chinese imitation.  Again, it just comes back to personal preference.  :wacko:   

 

Edit:  Now this is funny - Did a little sleuthing and member Bo Bo Olson points out that both the Mont Blanc and the 1911 copied their design from the Sheaffer New Balance.  Sheaffer New Balance of the 30's inspires the Mont Blanc of the 50's inspires the Sailor and Pilot of the 21st century!  Round and round we go!  

 

I suppose this is why we can't ever b*tch too much about imitation!  I do believe though that there is a line between what's tasteful imitation and distasteful imitation.  If I could lay it out here explicitly I would, but alas I suppose it must remain arbitrary.  

I appreciate this thoughtful reply. It is more than I would bother writing here on the topic, but I see what you mean. I don't share your judgments of "tasteful and distasteful imitation," but that is the language of sentiment anyway and is highly subjective. And yes, the process of imitation goes round and round. In nearly all industries, too. Restaurateurs eat in each other's restaurants and borrow food designs and ideas all the time. And some serve the fare a heck of a lot cheaper (fortunately for me).



#155 Totoro

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 02:48

This is my first post to FPN, so please excuse me if I write something inappropriate or stray into areas that are not normally written about, but I find this topic and its responses to be fascinating.

 

I am not familiar with the Chinese knock-off pens and how closely they resemble their older brethren, but I am familiar with how another luxury, collectible market has experienced imitation.  My full-time profession is as a coin dealer and coin photographer and I have witnessed first-hand the effects of overseas production of imitations to US and world coins.  Perhaps two decades ago there were original coins, counterfeit pieces and legal reproductions of US coins.  The Hobby Protection Act of 1973 required that any copies of US coinage have the term "COPY" stamped boldly on either side and most companies that produced reproductions complied with this legislation.

 

However, it soon became apparent that the better produced reproductions could be manipulated in the after-market to make them appear to be original US Mint issues.  These legal reproductions now became counterfeits in the hands of the unscrupulous.  They show up in online venues quite frequently with stories such as "this was my grandfather's coin and he received it from his grandfather when he was a boy...".  What makes some of these altered replicas easier to spot is that the companies that originally produced the reproductions intentionally changed a few details in the design of each piece so that they might better identify reproductions that were altered to look like originals.  This safeguard works fairly well, yet a number of dealers were taken for a loss when these counterfeits were passed off at coin shows.  Additionally, many newer collectors buy these and have no clue until they send them in for certification.  As an aside, in the coin industry you can send a coin into a third-party grading company that will authenticate the piece as real and assign a grade that facilitates sales and condition census records, this is known as certification.

 

Later, overseas factories, often but not always in China, came into being with the sole purpose of making knock-off (read; counterfeit) coinage.  This coinage does not bear "COPY" on it and does not intentionally have a detail or two incorrect in the design.  Some of these are very well made from the correct metallic composition and then artificially worn down to look like they circulated in commerce for years.  These are dangerous and most coin dealers now have to deal with this fairly frequently.

 

Many collectors delight in these counterfeits because they can afford a copy of a coin that they could never have afforded if they were required to purchase the original US Mint made product.  For example, one could pay $2 for a counterfeit 1796 quarter instead of $25,000 for a mid-grade, original 1796 quarter.  These $25,000 coins are not often sold uncertified so the counterfeits are more easily spotted, but a coin such as an 1839-O half dollar can be found as an original for perhaps $2,500 uncertified whereas the counterfeit can be purchased for the same $2.  Since my niche specialty within numismatics includes the 1839-O half dollar, I have experienced folks attempting to sell these counterfeits to me and they always have the story that they don't know anything about coins and are attempting to sell the piece for their brother.  I have not yet been fooled, but I don't know if that will always be the case.

 

The original reproductions with "COPY" stamped on them were well received by the coin collecting community, but as time has gone by the altered reproductions and subsequent high quality counterfeits have begun to undermine confidence in the market.  Those collectors who thought it was funny to purchase the $2 counterfeits were unwittingly encouraging and funding the production of more and better made counterfeits.  Again, I don't know how faithfully these knock-off fountain pens are produced relative to high end pieces, but if they are getting better and better at the imitation then they may be providing a template for those to make further alterations.  If that is the case, then those who buy and collect high end fountain pens might be in for a rude surprise at some point in the future.  Of course, if that is not the case then these two collecting areas (coins and pens) might not be so similar.

 

Please accept my apology if I have misread this thread or interpreted the thread incorrectly given my relatively limited experience in this arena.  Thank you.


Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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#156 Tootles

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 03:19

Well that's certainly an interesting insight into the world of coins! However, in the current thread there is no suggestion of counterfeiting - that is, with producing an exact copy down to and including the branding. With the imitation pens there are generally obvious differences in the design, or own branding plastered across it, or both. For instance, the Chinese company Hero makes a pen numbered 616 that is a reasonably fair facsimile of the much more famous Parker "51". Anyone with eyes can see on the Hero that it has its own name on the cap - one doesn't even need to be an enthusiast, merely able to read.  If Hero had put the name Parker on their pens then they would be in the same position that you outline in the coin collecting business, and that would be counterfeiting.

 

The legality of the copying rests on whether there is intention to deceive, and if the consumer is able to easily distinguish between the copy and the original. So, I can commission an exact replica of a Picasso painting as long as it is not sold as a Picasso. An exact copy but not illegal.



#157 aawhite

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:38

You know, all this talk about knock-offs has reminded me of the time when a lot of these artist impersonators (of Elvis, Roy Orbison and here in Australia, ABBA, to name a few) first appeared.

 

There were the true, die-hard fans who found them distasteful and would had none of it. And yet, there were similarly true, die-hard fans who went to all these performances to re-live the good old days.

 

And note: some of these artist impersonators were impersonating people who were still alive and selling records.

 

Just the same, we are all "true, die-hard fountain pen fans". Some of us do not mind the pen "impersonators" while others would have none of it.

 

Are these pen "impersonators" wrong? The pen companies in the middle of this debate are "big boys". If there is something wrong or illegal, some legal action would have been taken and we would probably know by now.


Edited by aawhite, 01 June 2014 - 08:46.

I only have two pens -  an Aurora Optima and others.


#158 bbbiswas

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:38

If an American wants a pen that looks like Parker but does not want to pay for Parker the Chinese are there to oblige him.

 

So do not blame only the Chinese; the buyers are also to blame.

 

Of course ,  the Chinese are hurting the original brands by this cheating ( half cheating if they still call it a Hero or Wingsung etc;  but full cheating when they emboss Montblanc  etc on the cap ring)



#159 Tootles

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:50

In what way are they hurting the original brands?



#160 bbbiswas

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:54

 

I understand what you are saying.  However.  These 'fakes' are being reported even on this forum to in many cases actually being pretty good pens.  Further, China has progressed in manufacturing prowess and technical capability to the point where they should be standing on their own reputation.  Instead, to my mind by using the design elements of the original manufacturers but claiming these to be Chinese products, they are pirates -- and appear to be trying to simply avoid the expense and bother of marketing for themselves!

 

In the instances where they are under contract to an American company, I do not consider the product as faked; they are being legally manufactured, legally exported under the brand name of the American company who outsourced.  I agree with you that in these instances the American companies have indeed shot themselves in the foot in many cases.

 

What it boils down to is plenty of wrong doing to share around!  Thanks for responding to my post.

Moshe is asking for the own designs of the Chinese manufacturers. But it is really very difficult to create a NEW OWN DESIGN given the fact that there are dozens of high brands and hundreds of low brands with hundreds of shapes of barrel, cap, cap top, cap rings, clips, section etc. Any new pen made by respectable companies like Edison and Bexley also can always be found to have similarities with past products of their predecessors. Also , if Bexley makes a pen  a la a vintage Waterman what would you call it- "copied from" or "inspired by"?

By the way, contemporaries like Vacumatic of Parker and Meisterstuck of Montblanc had lot of similarities and dissimilarities as well. These companies did not grumble against each other.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fakes, counterfeits, chinese pens, indian pens



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