Home Forums Starting your journey Importing from China. How to avoid copies?

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    Hi all. I hope someone can help. I am looking to import ready to wear clothing from China to sell at the local markets in my hometown – not looking to make huge amounts of money, just looking to do something fun/make some pocket money. I have experience with working with chinese suppliers so I am okay with that side of things but I am looking through the suppliers available inventory and I do recognise some of the designs or fabrics as belonging to other big name brands. How do I avoid unintentionally bringing in copies as I can’t possibly know if I’m bringing in an item that looks exactly like something belonging to another label. I don’t want to do anything wrong. I can avoid the ones I do recognise but I’m obviously not across every single cut or fabric of dress, short or skirt available in the market…

    Paul – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 3,173

    Hi And Welcome to Flying Solo [USER=113336]@Leighe2007[/USER] . It is great to have you!

    Thank you for joining our community and posting today.

    Hopefully some helpful members will be along soon with some advice to point you in the right direction.


    • Total posts: 641

    You can’t eliminate or guarantee this won’t happen if you’re running blind on who you buy from. It becomes a trust relationships against the factory you buy from. It will take time to build up the best suppliers that will guarantee this won’t be an issue. Unless you have contacts or recommendations on who to do business with there will be knockoffs everywhere you look both in copies and quality.

    • Total posts: 2,344

    Hi Leighe2007

    As Steve mentioned above, you just can’t guarantee or be certain unfortunately. A few tips as food for thought:

    • Even if you’re doing this at markets/for pocket money you will probably (according to ATO regulations) need an ABN and to register a business name for your business;
    • Have a contract in place with your supplier in China – that contract SHOULD include clauses that warrant or indemnify you in the event the design infringes the rights of someone else (the contract should have them confirm the designs are available and free of infringement but if not and you get a letter of demand, they’ll cover costs or similar associated with that)
    • Conduct searches to the best that you can of the Designs and Trade Marks registers in Australia (both available via ipaustralia.gov.au)

    It is a tricky one – some designers/brands will register designs for the ‘look’ of their fabric or pieces, others won’t. Those that don’t may still have common law rights to the ‘design’ – e.g. if a particular print/look is well known as belonging to them then the use by others could be viewed ‘passing off’ or misleading/deceptive conduct that would allow them rights even if they don’t have registered designs or other IP registrations.

    Hope the above assists and wish you all the best with it :)

    • Total posts: 16

    Good question. Following

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