In 2015 it was about time for Montejaur to update its portfolio of pictures and other marketing material. Spring came early and we had to travel far up north to find snow. We ended up in Arvidsjaur, near the Arctic Circle, where we together with a photo team and a drone spent a couple of April days around a house in the middle of the forests. The light conditions were tricky, and pictures could only be taken during a short time frame in the evenings. The roads were unpaved and icy. It would take up to one hour to get to the nearest shop. However, the snow around the actual flagpole was one meter deep, which caused the producer to twist his knee. Half the team got ill while the outhouse was covered in snow. It was under these conditions that some of the most beautiful pictures ever, when it comes to Christmas lights, were taken.

Unique design

Montejaur’s unique flagpole Christmas tree was patented in 2009. In addition, the unique production process made subsequent copies on the market totally different in terms of aesthetics, quality, brightness and assembly. Customers in Scandinavia, the EU and the US have been enjoying our products in their gardens during the last decade.

 

Image theft

Last season we found our own picture in the web shops of several other retailers. For example:

  • Bauhaus
  • XL-byg.dk
  • Homeshop.dk
  • Kridtvejsplanter.dk
  • Lampeguru.no

The source was Veliline ApS from Denmark. And we of course found our picture in their winter assortment brochures for 2017 and 2018. Our picture was cut into a different background. In other words, a deliberate copying action. It’s not just a matter of lazy usage of a picture they had run into on the internet. The picture was carefully manipulated to be used in their marketing and on their boxes.

 

Cheap vs premium

Imagine if Renault would use Volvo picture in their marketing. Even if the difference between Veliline and Montejaur is far much larger…

This is what the boxes look like:

Montejaur picture with a different background cut in

The content in the box:

Montejaur is twice the size and heavier due to more robust cables, and larger LED that are encapsulated in corrosion proof plastic.

The assembled product:

The Veliline product consists of 480 LED, while our picture show our product with 640 LED.

To sum it up, Danish and Norwegian consumers have been deceived over the last two years. They have been showed an image but have received something totally different and inferior.

 

Continued scam

Measures from Veliline have been absent. In March 2019, their lawyer stated that all pictures have been removed. But when checking on Oct 1 2019 the picture was still in use at the following resellers: Homeshop, Kridtvejsplanter and Bauhaus Denmark (!)

 

Next step

Montejaur is preparing a law suit before the Danish court for copyright infringement and market damages. Regarding the civil litigation, which is related to false marketing and the deception towards Danish and Norwegian consumers, we choose to notify in this way and we have also sent a notification to the Danish Consumer Agency, Forbrugerombudsmanden.