Intellectual property theft hurts small businesses

Preventive action and diligent lawsuits keep threats at bay.

Article by: DEE DePASS, Star Tribune

Plymouth-based Midwest Rubber Service and Supply makes squeegees for floor scrubbing machines with Linatex, a red rubber that is so unique and durable, its Malaysian manufacturer had it trademarked.

But since the companies didn’t do anything more to protect the rubber’s good name, counterfeiters made knockoffs of Midwest’s squeegees. They used cheap rubber that they dyed and dared to call Linatex.

Midwest’s business plummeted as its customers in China and Europe demanded it cut prices to match counterfeits. “We are probably doing about half the business we could do if we had protected this brand globally.”

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