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Now even a fake Rubber Duck

Updated: 2013-09-12 09:33
( China Daily)

Beijing residents had a rendezvous with the Rubber Duck at the Garden Expo. But before that, stories of two fake rubber ducks doing the rounds of the city caught people off guard. Perhaps it is easier for some people in China to pass off fakes as genuine products and make a profit out of it, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Fake rubber ducks have appeared in many Chinese mainland cities since the genuine Rubber Duck went on display in Hong Kong in May this year. The Rubber Duck was designed by Florentijn Hofman in 2007. And to help people recall their childhood memories, he decided to exhibit it in 14 cities across the world, starting from his native Amsterdam in 2007. Among the cities where the Rubber Duck has been on display are Saint-Nazaire in France, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Osaka in Japan, Hasselt in Belgium and Sydney in Australia.

But in no other country or region, except the mainland, was any fake duck seen on display. Some people may say that Hofman's design, too, is an imitation. Even if we accept the allegation, we cannot ignore the fact that the Rubber Duck is indeed a creative concept and innovative piece of work.

The utter disregard some people in China have for intellectual property poses a fatal threat to innovation. So the Chinese authorities have to ensure that all innovative processes follow a given set of rules, and not violating intellectual property rights should be one of them.

If a product that takes years of research and painstaking work to make is copied and sold in the market no one would bother to waste time on research and innovative work.

Innovation most of the time comes from some seemingly unwitting but fantastic thoughts, but whether or not such seeds can grow into products that amaze the world depends on whether a country has a favorable environment for innovation. And the first thing to do to create such an environment is to protect intellectual property rights.

(China Daily 09/12/2013 page9)