Comfort Brand Leaders On How They Protect Their Products From Copycats

Michael Toschi
Michael Toschi shoes.
Courtesy of brand.

Yasuo Takamato
Chairman & chief designer, RegettaCanoe

“Our RegettaCanoe 8
Comfort insole and outsole
system is our most valuable
asset, so we filed patents in
many key countries. We have
a legal team screen 
industrial information to
 make sure we’re not copied, and our analytics team can
 trace which factory is 
making counterfeits by 
analyzing products. Periodically, we’ve hired
 external consulting 
companies to help us catch
 counterfeits.”

RegettaCanoe RegettaCanoe shoes. Courtesy of brand.

Michael Toschi
Designer & CEO, Michael Toschi

“Copycats usually [interpret technologies] in a superficial way that doesn’t retain the functionality of the original. They’re typically not interested whether it performs or provides a benefit to the wearer, but just use it as a marketing handle. They may try to copy my CarbonLite Ionet Suspension System and Natural Ergonomic Standing Table, but [I don’t worry because] I’m certain it won’t possess nearly their qualities and benefits.”

Lou Panaccione
Co-founder, Oofos

“We’ve spent years developing our impact-absorbing foam compound Oofoam. However, we don’t have a patent on it since that would require disclosing all the ingredients. Instead, we treat it as a trade secret, the way Coke protects its recipe. The compound is locked in a vault and access is only allowed under supervision defined in a carefully structured legal agreement.”

Oofos Oofos slide sandals. Courtesy of brand.

Umaesh Khaitan
CEO & president, Ukies

“Our multi-layered NanoGel technology has four utility patents. We’ve also signed a non-disclosure agreement with our [partner] factories that the technology will not be used [for other brands]. We control our proprietary nano material by making it in the U.S., then shipping the chemical to our [overseas] factories when needed for production. For copycats to imitate our technology would require a substantial investment in molds and components.”

Ukies Ukies peep-toe pumps. Courtesy of brand.

Danny Muskat
National sales manager, Deer Stags

“We take pride in developing innovative comfort technologies and therefore take the time and expense to apply for design and utility patents on most new proprietary systems. We then brand the technologies and register their trademarks. It’s also important to develop great graphics to highlight the features and benefits of the systems on our packaging and visual marketing [materials], copyrighting these graphics as well.”

Deer Stags Deer Stags shoes. Courtesy of brand.