We design furniture and are concerned about our designs being copied – does this happen a lot in Russia or are they buying the British brand?

Question

We design furniture and are concerned about our designs being copied – does this happen a lot in Russia or are they buying the British brand?

This question was asked as part of our webinar on Russia which can be found at:

http://opentoexport.com/webinars/beyond-the-eu-russia/

Answer

One of my Russian clients started making furniture in his, only, room in 1993 after his side of the management team in a very high-tech state business lost the struggle for power. In 2011, he sold the business for $50 million. Such impressive growth in the furniture industry is no longer possible but the rate of household formation in Russia is high. So despite the depressed state of the FIRRE economy , there are opportunities, particularly for products address that younger families.

My friend and client succeeded spectacularly because, instead of imitating 1920s French furniture designs as the Soviet industry had done, he designed the furniture for actual Russian living conditions. He now dabbles in the retail business selling high-end imported furniture to rich people in the major cities of the Volga region. Excellent design is one of his criteria for choosing a supplier.

Russians have a very specific sense of space. They organise their houses very differently. Look at the Russian cathedral or Russian dress design and you will see a very different sense of colour.

Even if you haven’t registered your design in Russia, the chances that it will be copied are very low.

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