February 15th 2013

Qatar, "Oscar" for the biggest falsification

Plagiarius, considered the "Oscars" of falsifications, award first prize to the State of Qatar on producing and installing in one of the main avenues of Doha around a thousand falsifications of the Latina street lamp, created by the architect Beth Galí and marketed by Santa & Cole.

The award ceremony for Plagiarius 2013, not attended by any representative of the State of Qatar, was held this morning in Frankfurt in the framework of the international Ambiente fair, the world's most important event for the consumer-goods sector.

During the ceremony, which was well attended by the media, Beth Galí and Javier Nieto, Chairman of Santa & Cole, intervened, followed by an audiovisual presentation condemning this situation and requesting the international community to react in the face of cases of piracy on this scale.

The annual Plagiarius anti-awards, established in 1977, recognize the most notorious international falsifications and plagiarisms with the aim of condemning the negative impact of this practice on the world economy, and on creative companies and professionals. According to Plagiarius:

- 10% of worldwide commerce are fakes and plagiarisms.
- Economic loss: €200-300 billion.
- Loss of jobs: 200,000.

With the supposed falsifications which won the Plagiarius award, the State of Qatar would have caused important moral damages to Beth Galí, substantial financial damages to Santa & Cole, and would have endangered the life of the Qatari citizens, as the abysmal quality of the falsifications would be the cause of numerous traffic accidents due to dazzling or to the detachment of their components.

In addition to this international recognition, commercial court no. 2 of Barcelona recently admitted the lawsuit filed in 2012 by Beth Galí against the State of Qatar and the Public Works Authority “Ashghal” for infringement of copyright. After six years of attempts to reach an amicable agreement, and after the Qatari government refused the arbitration of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the international community and the courts are paying attention to what could be the biggest case of piracy committed by a sovereign state.

About Plagiarius

Professor Rido Busse established the Plagiarius anti-awards in 1977 to denounce the constant theft of ideas and attacks on Intellectual Property in the world of design.

The Plagiarius awards are presented annually in the framework of the Ambiente fair in Frankfurt and generate a great deal of international media expectation. A jury of experts presents the award to companies and distributors considered guilty of committing the most notorious plagiarisms in the world of design.

The Award consists of a statuette of a gnome painted black with a golden nose, representing the illicit earnings of those who profit from infringement of Intellectual Property. The Plagiarius awards have international recognition thanks to their great work denouncing these violations and defending Intellectual Property, and on raising public awareness on this malpractice.

The 2012 and 2013 winners will be exhibited during the Ambiente Fair (15 – 19 February) on the Special Plagiarius stand (Foyer 15 – 16). After the fair they will be transferred to the Plagiarius Museum in Solingen (Germany), which also exhibits the winners from previous years.

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