are this people working for you ? As they sell as " FLOW HIVE "…
I wonder whether they come with correctly tensioned wires.
@Zzz yes a saw that it is a Chinese copies… but they sell this as FLOW HIVE… I thought Flow Hive was a registered name…
You are right.
But the Chinese have a different view from western countries on intellectual property.
Hi Helene! Well spotted. It must be so tiresome for legitimate businesses with innovative products to contend with these fakes, rampant on the internet. Flow’s legal folks may already be on this one, but just in case I’ll tag @KieranPI and @Freebee2.
@Eva Ciao Eva, yes… I saw this add quite a few times… I must say that people that don’t know well the original Flow Hive may buy one of this… as the price is much less expensive…Then will have quite a bit of problems in the future… Chinese are quite good on copy everything…
Ohhh gosh. Eva… You may receive the package with free CORONAVIRUS…
@Freebee2 and the Flow legal team deal with this every day. I don’t know if they know specifically about this team, but they do now…
And I am sure that unfortunately they can do absolutely nothing about copies like this sold direct from China. They don’t have any jurisdiction and there are no agreements between the Chinese government, and any western country that allows anyone to take legal action against Chinese companies as far as I know.
They can take action against anyone in Australia and some other western countries that sell products infringing on their intellectual property.
Even then, it will be very exhausting, and expensive for a small company to pursue.
Although the prices of these copies is impressively cheap, I still insisted on buying the original, to support the company. And that is why I get disappointed when I buy the original and still get loose wires, and poorly made finger joints.
Thank you so much for sharing this - we are very grateful to have such a wonderful community of beekeepers looking out for us.
Yes these are fakes.
They are definitely in breach of copyright laws and there’s a fairly high risk that they also do not use food grade plastic etc.
We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention as we are doing our best to stamp out this kind of dodgy business.
Yes it can be particularly difficult to deal with this issue in China.
Thanks for supporting us by purchasing the originals.
actually that’s not the case- Flow have patents registered in China as far as I understand. Other Australian companies have successfully pursued fakers in china:
It is possible to take legal action there- but obviously difficult and expensive- and a game of ‘whack a mole’.
protecting patents, trademarks and copyright is actually difficult (and EXPENSIVE) in many countries. Intellectual propert rights are only as good as your ability to defend them.
@Semaphore Jack yes you are quite right - we do have the frames patented in China, for what it’s worth
That’s the problem Jack.
What I find odd though, is that these counterfeit products are readily available on sites like eBay and Amazon, which are American companies.
People buy these fakes because they are a fraction of the price. Is that as low as $10.99 US per frame? People want cheap, and don’t care if they are manufactured in a state of the art factory in Australia, or a sweat shop in China. That is the sad fact.
I want a quality product that lasts, but I’m in the minority.
well then- I hope (and trust) you are sending out a lot of very threatening cease and desist letters! Lawyers call that ‘the shotgun approach’. Costs little and at the least will give the recipients some pause for thought. It’s also vital evidence of a strong defense of IP.
I tell you: Flow really needs to try and do more- I sold a few Nucs this year and I had more people contact me who had fake flow hives than real ones: 10 to 1. The fake frames are very poor quality- I would never trust them- and the woodware is also inferior to hives you can get in Australia. Many people were not aware they had fakes (or at least they claimed ignorance).
You could start by taking these guys straight to court- they claim the (illegally imported) stock is right here in Australia:
it’s not odd at all- it called RAMPANT CAPITALISM. eBay takes 10% or more of all sales and accepts no liability. They are just ‘a platform’. Ebay pays virtually no tax in Australia and they are laughing all the way to their Swiss bank account. If they really wanted to get rid of all these fakes- they could no doubt use an algorithm- but what financial incentive is there for them to do that? Shareholders come first… laws be damned.
@Semaphore Wow Jack those statistics are pretty shocking. We are pretty onto it with these scammers, but your whack a mole analogy was pretty close to the mark.
@Zzz they look cheap - but you get what you pay for… and that’s in the best case scenarios. We’ve heard of people who have been duped out of their money by these sham companies and haven’t even been sent anything… there is a lot of truth in the old adage “if it looks to good to be true then it probably is”
I have no doubt Freebee. I wonder if they have a “Kieran” at the office to deal with customer problems.
@Freebee2 may I just ask you a question please ? They ask me at the school on Tuesday night on what kind of plastic FH super had… I did not know exactly- Can you give me the composition of the FH plastic used on the honey area ? Or better what does not have that is not safe ?
You asked a great question and directed it perfectly to our friendly Freebee, well done in using the @ symbol!
I can tell you categorically that Flow frames are made from food-safe material, the same that is used for babies milk bottles. It is BPA-free and does not “off-gas” toxic chemicals. I believe it is polypropylene, but my memory isn’t what it used to be, so I am sure that Freebee will set the record straight.