Protecting our brand and protecting our valued customers from knockoffs is something we are passionate about. We recently filed two federal lawsuits against counterfeiters claiming to be BigMouth, Inc. and attempting to deceive people into buying an inferior, and potentially unsafe product. Can you spot the counterfeit below, purchased on Amazon.com?
BIGMOUTH INC. SWINGS BACK AT COUNTERFEIT SELLERS ON AMAZON.COM
With a lack of progress from using Amazon.com’s anti-counterfeiting measures, noted gift and novelty brand files multi-million dollar lawsuits to protect intellectual property, namesake, and consumers from counterfeit sellers.
GLASTONBURY, CT – July 19, 2016. BigMouth Inc. (bigmouthinc.com), a leading manufacturer of novelty products and gifts, today announced the issuance of lawsuits filed against two nefarious sellers of counterfeit goods on Amazon.com. By infringing upon various combinations of BigMouth Inc.’s trademarks, copyrights, and patents, sellers “SoloFleet” and “Floating Panda” willfully tricked consumers shopping on Amazon.com into thinking they had purchased genuine BigMouth Inc. products, causing irreparable damage to the brand and its mark. The range of counterfeit products consist of BigMouth Inc.’s famous Giant Donut, Pink Flamingo, and Pineapple inflatable pool floats.
The lawsuits emerge at a time of crisis for well-known brands whose intellectual property and trademarks are being exploited on 3rd party marketplaces such as Amazon.com, eBay, and Alibaba. As recently reported by CNBC, Amazon.com has made it even easier for importers to obtain illicit goods directly from China—a hotbed of counterfeit activity—by registering Amazon fulfillment centers with the Federal Maritime Commission.
BigMouth Inc.’s attempts to contact SoloFleet with Cease and Desist notices citing BigMouth Inc.’s trademark, patent, and copyright documentation were unsuccessful. Similar measures to inform Floating Panda were met with a defiant reply from Matthew McAlister, the claimed CEO, against concrete proof of illicit activity. Despite making the required test purchases from each seller, and proper submission of intellectual property infringement claims, the sellers were permitted to continue sales on Amazon.com. In addition, Amazon’s 3rd Party Marketplace—a marketplace for selling on Amazon.com—makes it possible to obscure a seller’s true identity, as well as continue the sale of goods under different aliases. This offers counterfeit sellers additional time and space to conduct illicit transactions.
Amazon in particular offers few tools for intellectual property owners to enact brand protection measures—most of which are ineffective and/or impractical due to the lengths of time that pass until responses from Amazon.com’s staff are provided—of which are notoriously vague or unclear. Further, Amazon.com’s online reporting interface traps brand owners into seemingly endless submit-and-resubmit loops on Amazon.com’s website. These traits are well-noted among Amazon sellers, attracting more sellers to sell on the platform regardless of product integrity or the resulting customer experience. Should a consumer sustain injury from using a counterfeit float, their attempts to contact these sellers would be extremely difficult—quite the opposite of Amazon’s promise of a friction-free shopping experience.
“We spend a tremendous amount of resources on developing unique product, and then registering our IP through the proper channels so we may offer it to the market for resale.” commented Founder and CEO Steve Wampold, “These sellers are knowingly selling an inferior product bearing our likeness, on platforms they know are loosely policed—bypassing the structures designed to conduct good business. Counterfeit goods are not manufactured with the same integrity as a genuine BigMouth product—they are unsafe, unsanitary, and of poor quality. Consumers are tricked into owning these goods, and then the brands are left to clean up the mess.”
Wampold added, “The ripple effects of illicit goods can be devastating. From the salesman at an independent gift store who loses a sale to a counterfeit to our own 20-plus employees—many with families—everyone loses. Even worse, these counterfeit products are not tested or brought into compliance for mass consumption like genuine BigMouth products. Counterfeit goods put innocent people at risk from a safety, health, and economic standpoint.”
Although the damage to BigMouth Inc.’s reputation is beyond repair, the lawsuit seeks $2,000,000.00 per instance of counterfeit BigMouth product. As BigMouth Inc. has a carefully selected network of high-visibility retail partners, the brand urges consumers to alert BigMouth Inc. if they spot a potential counterfeit seller or product at BigMouthInc.com/contact.
BigMouth, Inc. is represented by K&L Gates, LLP in the two lawsuits.
Remember the phrase “You get what you pay for” ? We at BigMouth wanted to take a few moments to demonstrate this concept with our popular—and oft-imitated—inflatables. When it comes to these knockoffs products, this old rule is absolutely true. We put ours head-to-head with a recent copycat so that you can be in the know while shopping for summer fun.
Let’s start with our best-selling Giant Frosted Donut Pool Float
Designed in 2010, and first made available for sale in 2011, our giant 4 foot float is sized so that A) it’s hilarious B) it’s versatile enough to lay on or cling to and C) it can serve A and B in just about any size pool. Make it too small and you cannot actually float on it (darned buoyancy). Too big, and there is not enough room for anyone else in the pool.
The below knockoff (on the left) from “H2WHOAH!” was deliberately copied—quite recently in fact—by a major retailer. Their donut float could probably keep a paper plate of diet crackers on top of water, but not much else…seriously look at that thing! But you wouldn’t eat the diet crackers because the cheap and horrible chemical smell from their float would make you nauseous.
Did you know that the same company fell in love with another BigMouth best-seller? Our Giant 6 foot (remember that number) Pizza Slice Float was also knocked off. Again, ours was sized to be fun and practical—it makes a great lounger for humans of all sizes. But what if the knockoff version was just “fun-sized”? You know, like the 1/4 of a candy bar you get when trick-or-treating. Let’s be honest—nobody likes 1/4 of anything…even 1/2 for that matter. That isn’t fun, and that isn’t America. Go Big or go home. Here have a look at the H2WHOAH! Pizza float (again, theirs is on the left) versus the BigMouth best-seller:
If your significant other came home from the store and gave you the above “pizza float I saw on Instagram”, after crying, you’d probably wonder what you were going to put on it. Dead grasshoppers from the pool filter? More diet crackers? We’re open to ideas. Meanwhile, BigMouth Customer A is five sips into a tropical drink, and on their way to a killer tan while the other pizza slice sinks to the bottom of the pool.
What’s in the box?
Unboxing anything is usually fun—you get something new and the excitement factor is high. But what if your float wasn’t actually protected in the packaging? You see these knockoff floats are simply stuffed into a box. There’s no protection from the friction of the box, so the print will rub off or could be subjected to additional wear and tear en route from the factory—moisture, shifting, handling, and extreme temperature changes.
A good analogy is buying a box of cereal. Imagine if you opened that box of delicious Lucky Charms and found out there was no plastic bag protecting the cereal bits. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and don’t bother trying to patch the knockoff float if Fido accidentally jumps on it—no patch kit is included. We know that crap happens, and for that reason all BigMouth floats come with a patch kit so you can extend the life of your inflatable if things get a little too crazy.
Below is a recent television commercial featuring those knockoff floats. Did you notice that no one is actually using them? Hmm. Have you ever seen a commercial for a product that is being completely ignored?
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. OK, there’s some merit to that, but we want our customers to be the envy of the pool/beach/lake—not the victim of a copycat. That means bigger floats, better designs, higher quality, and the highest level of integrity from our hands to yours. Consider yourself up-to-speed!
Related: Are you concerned about the authenticity of a product? See our post about counterfeit BigMouth products here.
Have a great summer!
-The BigMouth Team
Each spring BigMouth Inc heads down to the Gulf Shores in Alabama for the Hangout Music Festival. This year’s festival was an event like no other thanks to the combination of Hangout’s lineup (always A-list and cutting edge acts) and giant inflatables from yours truly for the crowd to enjoy.
This video drops you into the crowd as only BigMouth can, letting you get a feel for the fun time everyone has at the Hangout.
Giant Ice Pop Pool Float
Giant Funky Flower Pool Float
Giant 7 foot Inflatable Rubber Duck
Giant Rubber Duckie Pool Float
Giant 10 foot tall Inflatable Pink Flamingo
Giant Pink Flamingo Pool Float
Giant Eyeball Beach Ball
Giant White Swan Pool Float
Giant Black Swan Pool Float
Other products featured at the festival:
Giant Donut Hole Beach Ball
Giant Frosted Donut Pool Float
Giant Toilet Pool Float
Giant Pizza Beach Ball
Giant 10 foot Beach Ball
Music Credit: “When You See Me Hurt” by Atom Age. They are awesome, so please download the track in this video here -> amzn.to/1UcfbFb
-The BigMouth Team
When you combine music, the beach, and BigMouth you are pretty much guaranteed a great time. This weekend we take over the Gulf Shores in Alabama to show the world what its like to be a BigMouth. The musical lineup is amazing, the scenery is incredible, and the inflatables will be bountiful. Check out the details here, and be on the lookout for some pictures via our Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter feeds. See you on the beach!
Let’s get this out of the way—being a part of the BigMouth operation is a lot of fun. Behind the scenes, we have the task of bringing you laughter like nobody else. Although our products are outrageous in nature, the process of getting them from our heads to your hands is all business. Have a look at what makes BigMouth tick, and how we get you to smile when you see one of our confetti covered boxes.
We’re always trying to find new ways to people laugh, and creativity is at the core of our fun designs. When other creatives from take their own work to new heights using our products as props, we get all warm and fuzzy inside. Or was that last night’s taco truck meal settling in?
Our products had a great week, being spotted in all sorts of new places. Our famous Tootsie Roll Pool Float appeared in a Saturday Night Live web short with Melissa McCarthy in a spoof on those classic supermarket game shows. It looks like it will become an instant classic, and should surpass 1 million views any moment now.
Our good friends at Target ran a new ad to launch their ’16 swim collection. Our iconic Chocolate Donut, the new Orange Cream Pop and finally the Watermelon Slice Pool Floats looked great. Of course the big red bullseye is carrying a huge assortment of our floats this season including two exclusives; the cream pop and a cupcake. (mmmmmm cupcaaaaaakes)
Lastly, our perennial best-selling Toilet Mug had a great week, appearing in a DIY tutorial in which a customer adds working plumbing to it (you read that correctly). Comedic actor Louie Anderson then posted the mug from the Baskets set, an FX show headlined by Zach Galifianakis. The mug appeared in a spot for the show in late fall of 2015 and has been a staple of the buzz aroundit. Here’s a picture from Louie’s feed, and that tutorial:
We hope to see more of BigMouth in the wild, but with over 6 billion people creating content 24/7 it is tough to keep track of. So, if you spot us please let us know at email@example.com.
To that, we give props!
Welcome to the new bigmouthinc.com. We created this site to provide an intuitive way to discover our outrageous novelty gifts. If you are a dealer and thus are looking for our B2B website, it simply moved and will continue to serve our wholesale business (be sure to update your bookmarks).
For those who are new to this website (yep, that would be you!), we think you will enjoy getting to know our unique assortment, and ultimately our sense of humor. Need a crash course?
A great way to
get started procrastinate at your job is our all-new Gift Finder. Via the homepage, you can provide some basic criteria about the type of person you are shopping for, or the event/occasion. When done, click the magnifying glass to see the results. There are literally millions of combinations to choose from. We hope it inspires some big laughs.
Stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter—we’re always cooking up something new.
-The BigMouth Team