The Highs and Lows of Going Viral
In 2019, my interactive prayer mat, Salah Mat, went viral. We were flooded with over 1,000 orders in less than 24 hours! This was a dream come true for us as a new company in need of financial support. However, the success also caught the attention of other companies that realized the potential of my invention. Within just a month, there were counterfeit versions of the Salah Mat on the market, looking exactly like the original.
The Emotional Toll of Counterfeit Products
The experience of seeing my product copied was a low point for me, leaving me feeling helpless and unsure of how to proceed.
Summoning Inner Strength
I realised that I had to summon a kind of inner strength that I never knew I had. It required a mental switch that is difficult to put into words. On the legal front, I had already applied for trademark and design registration and had a pending patent. Unfortunately, the patent had not been granted at that time.
Fighting Fakes on Multiple Platforms
I could see counterfeit versions of my product everywhere—from Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay, to Noon, Facebook, and Instagram. And even after four years, I still find myself reporting these fakes. To effectively fight these counterfeits, I had to delve deep into the world of intellectual property laws. We had to learn the requirements of each individual platform in order to report the fakes successfully.
Support from the Community
It was essential to educate our customers and the community at large about the counterfeit problem. We started creating videos and posters to help people recognize fake Salah Mats. We also informed our followers through social media, and the results have been phenomenal. We now regularly receive emails and messages from people who have spotted counterfeits in their local markets. We use that information to report the fakes, and it’s heartening to see how supportive the community has been.
So, while the journey has had its ups and downs, we've armed ourselves with the necessary knowledge and tools to fight against counterfeit products. The community's support has been invaluable, showing us that when you create something truly meaningful, people will stand by you, no matter the obstacles.