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Herman Miller in Second LifeVirtual World News alerted me to this story: Herman Miller (who makes the best, albeit most expensive, chairs in the world) is fighting knock-offs in Second Life by giving away the real thing. Well, the virtual real thing. But not a knockoff. You get the idea.

From the VWN article:

Furniture designer and manufacturer Herman Miller announced that it would be entering Second Life with help from Rivers Run Red. In the real world, Herman Miller has taken aim at knockoff products with its “Get Real” campaign, and it will be bringing the same principle to the virtual world.

It will be offering a collection of 15 pieces for L$300-L$850, or approximately U.S. $1.40 to $3.50, but users that have bought knockoffs in the past will get the new pieces for free. … Those taking advantage of this limited-time, honor-based offer need only delete their old inventory and then “Get Real.”

And from Herman Miller’s in-world advertisement…

Herman Miller is pleased to give you the opportunity to own authentic virtual versions of some of our products. Each is designed to represent as closely as possible its real-world counterpart

This means three things to me. First, big companies are now — finally — starting to pay attention to trademark abuse in Second Life. Second, some of them, like Herman Miller, are going about it the right way, embracing the virtual world and trying to deal with the problem creatively. And third, my Second Life avatar ‘Benjamin Noble’ has a nicer chair than I do right now. A L$500 sixty-three prim chair, but a nicer chair nonetheless. And yeah, I paid for it.

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5 Responses to “Herman Miller Fights Trademark Infringment in Second Life with “Get Real” Campaign”

  1. [...] Herman Miller Fights Trademark Infringement in Second Life with “Get Real” Campaign Virtual World News alerted me to this story: Herman Miller (who makes the best, albeit most expensive, chairs in the world) is fighting knock-offs in Second Life by giving away the real thing. Well, the virtual real thing. But not a knockoff. You get the idea. [...]

  2. on 09 Oct 2007 at 6:31 pmJazzman Jibilla

    “Get Real” !!!
    Sheesh at 63 prims for one chair, forget it. 99.9% of SL users could care less who made the darn thing whether it was Herman or his younger dumber brother. At 63 prims in a single chair I bet it looks fantastic; as a small land owner in SL I wouldn’t bother unless I was planning to sit on it ALL the time.
    It is good that RL designers get involved with branding their stuff in SL and it’s ilk, but I suspect Miller Corp. were talking to people with a lot more prim space than most of us. Probably elite builders and land owners, and if that’s the (itty bitty) market they want then they are on the right track.

    I suspect they didn’t really know what they wanted and somebody sold them a bill of goods about the importance of having a presence against the flattery of SL copies.

    I might just buy one and copy it as closely as I can in something more reasonable for a say 20 prims, and give it away too. While the cachet of owning a “Miller” wouldn’t be there I bet you would find more of my knock off around than theirs.

    If I knockoff their creation of an original to replace a knockoff, do I become a chip off the old block?

    Good luck Herman, don’t pay those consultants too many RL$

    p.s. I may be totally off base here because I don’t buy furniture in SL and don’t really know. I hope the 63 prim chair is strictly a showpiece of what’s possible and not an example of HM Corps SL construction style.

  3. on 10 Oct 2007 at 1:49 amBenjamin Duranske

    63 is a lot. But so is $800 for one of these suckers in real life. The idea, I suspect, is that these chairs are a luxury brand in both places. In real life, that means a bunch of cash. In Second Life, a bunch of prims.

  4. on 10 Oct 2007 at 3:06 amfakeass

    one item that has no functional design value in a virtual world where you dont ever “have” to sit down.

    BTW- many patents exist on the chairs sold by HM. Are they all now “forfeit” to Linden labs and all its users?

    Im sure the owners of the designs would love to know whats happened to their licensed IP now that HM via RRR has turned their property into Lindens Pixels…..

    messy messy
    another fake ass in SL.

  5. on 10 Oct 2007 at 4:42 pmJazzman Jibilla

    I bet it’s a nice comfy chair and I see your point of course. I own some fabulous custom made furniture in rl, but like our friend with the bad name “fake***, the sl version has no function and qualifies as just so much pretty prim litter.
    I better go look at the darn thing I suppose and I really hope I don’t buy one.
    I am not sure that the maker is really going to get anything out of the exercise other than the tiny bit of advertising they’ll get inworld. I can see Nike and MacDonald’s etc., having their logos and branded images all over the makes sense for them to absorb all media into their advertising budget.
    An exclusive furniture maker…aww…probably a waste of their money for the reach sl has (at the moment).

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