Shoe last piracy

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by joonian, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. joonian

    joonian Senior member

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    Suppose I wanted to start a new shoemaking company.

    What's stopping me from offering the U last, 888 last, 348 last and the Trubalance last in my new line of shoes?

    I can easily copy the lasts from extant wooden lasts from the appropriate workshops or, in the worst case scenario, simply make a plaster cast of an existing shoe.

    So, why do we pay so much attention to which maker uses what last? In theory, any maker can easily duplicate any last.

    What are the analogues to other forms of intellectual property in music, software and film?

    Discuss.
     


  2. Superfluous

    Superfluous Senior member

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    Do it
     


  3. davesmith

    davesmith Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    Good luck. I thought making hand rolled pocket squares was easy... It's not. Making shoes I can imagine ain't so easy either.
     


  4. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    Do it. You Asians do that shit all the time with everything else. You are no longer innovators or creators (well maybe except for electronics) or even true artisans. You are all copyists. Just sayin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011


  5. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Could you explain this? Do you put on your black ski mask and sneak in at night to make copies? Or do they let you make the copies during the tour? :embar:
     


  6. davesmith

    davesmith Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    Quote:
    Quote:
    [​IMG]
     


  7. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    Bonus points for tying in "piracy" with that picture.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011


  8. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    Actually I am interested in this question as well. Not in copying any of the aforementioned lasts but in preventing others from copying my lasts.

    I have several lasts (men and women) that i have made which I believe are somewhat unique, blending certain elements of tradional lasts while also incorporating other certain more fashion forward elements. How do I prevent these lasts from being copied if a send out for duplication or if i commision larger shops/factories to make actual shoes. Is this impossible to prevent in China (I suspect)?

    I am not really worried about small places where I have heard that there is an unwritten code not to outright copy a last. Is this true or wishfull thinking?
     


  9. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    I suspect you already know the answer to your Q's.

    Let's say someone copied the EG 888 last somehow and then decided to commercially make these shoes under their own label.

    Firstly, the shape of any refined last requires a degree of skill to produce shoes on - it's not easy peasey to recreate. If you have the shoes made in the far east, such as China you instantly turn off a significant percentage of shoe buyers - who are interested in a luxury, well made product - made in China is not perceived that way. Make the shoes in the UK or europe and EG is more likely to file for legal action, needless to say the US is particularly litigious territory.

    Anyway let's suppose, EG for whatever reason don't sue you and somehow you manage to make a good quality shoe on the 888 last - who do you market it too? and for how much...?
     


  10. davesmith

    davesmith Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    can people really tell which last it is by looking at the shoe? lets say you copy the 888 last, but call it the "fits your foot nicely" last. who would ever know?
     


  11. CutandSew

    CutandSew Senior member

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    I highly doubt shoe lasts can be protected as intellectual property. While some of you may think a certain last is creatively unique, it's really not if you honestly think about it. You'd probably have better luck trying to protect the shoe design, but even then it's an uphill battle depending on how 'unique' the design is. The name can probably be protected, like 888, but nothing can stop someone from putting out a similar if not exact last, but call it 8Y9, for example.

    ***Haha...davesmith, my thoughts exactly! :fistbump:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011


  12. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    

    By contract. Good luck enforcing if you outsource to China though.
     


  13. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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    Clothing design in general does not get much, if any, IP protection. Most clothing design is done to fit a person and therefore cannot be protected
     


  14. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    You'd be amazed. A lot of guys on here can immediately tell the last when presented with the brand. Others can tell the brand by the last. It's SF; even if no one really knows, someone knows.
     


  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Shoe lasts cannot not be derived from shoes. You would have to have a copy of the actual last, in hand.

    Obtaining a last might be a bit problematic and it is doubtful that the lastmakers would allow you to simply co-opt another client's last models. They would risk losing that client.

    But if you could get your hands on a copy, and wanted to pay a substantial fee for making a new model off of the original model, as well as having sizing models created to generate a full run of sizes, etc,. it is possible you could arrive at something very similar, if not identical.

    At which point you would have the marketing obstacle of being just another clone of a far better established name. And not having developed the model yourself, no idea of where to go from there short of stealing someone else's intellectual property, again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011


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