Samsung Files Cease And Desist Over Kogan TV Ad

Samsung has, less-than-kindly, asked retailer Kogan to withdraw the above Brand Power ad for the latter's LCD TVs. The ad makes it quite clear Kogan's TVs use Samsung panels. Is Kogan lying about the origin of its panels? No — it's no secret that Samsung, along with the likes of LG, Au Optronics and Chi Mei build and distribute most of the LCDs in the TVs and monitors we buy.

What's upset Samsung is that fact that Kogan is telling the average person about it. It's so upset, it's filed a cease and desist.

According to legal documents obtained by News.com.au, Samsung's primarily narky over two things: The unauthorised use of its trademark, and the use of the word "components", which implies the LCD panel isn't the only hardware Samsung and Kogan's TVs share.

In comments to News.com.au, Kogan has defended the ad — its use of Samsung's panels is "a statement of fact" and its deal to use the panels did not stipulate that it could not advertise Samsung as their origin.

It sounds like Samsung might have been fine with the ad if it had forgone the use of its trademark, but that would certainly have weakened the message. At the very least, it's not surprising Samsung has gone after Kogan — the latter stating its happy to go to court over the matter.

[News.com.au, thanks Danny]


Comments

    This seems very strange to me - usually parties kick up a stink when someone is using a trademark to deceptively confuse consumers into thinking a product is of high quality from association with a trademark.... but in this case they ARE associated. O.o

      But would you be happy knowing that people will buy a cheaper tv if the think it uses the same parts. Samsung could lose a lot of business from it, hence the dislike

    well the ad worked for me, I have 2 samsung lcd's now, and I will definately be having a look at the kogan site when it is time to upgrade :)

      I have two kogan tvs and I think they are great. Much better than the LG I used to own. I also bought one for my parents and they are happy with it. The only problem is that they refuse to deliver on the weekend and it is a huge hassle for me to arrange to be home during the week during the timeof delivery.

      I purchased a Kogan set about 2yrs ago and I'm fairly happy with it. i think the picture quality is even better than on our samsung tv especially with blu-rays. The only thing that upset me was that a couple of months after I purchased my kogan, i received a newsletter from them and the same tv was over $100 cheaper than I had paid.

        Adam, after a couple of months if a TV hasnt dropped price in this day and age, it'd be a surprise, so Im surprised that youre upset about this. Yes if it had been a price drop after a couple of days, or even a matter of weeks perhaps, but if its more than 2 months since you bought it and the price has dropped $100, big whoop. Its how technology ages and companies wish to move product by slashing prices and their own profit margin.

    I don't see why this is an issue.

    Samsung TV's have so much more going for them so they fill a niche at a certain price point, where as the Kogan sold TVs are more on the ultra budget side of things. Samsung should be happy that Kogan sells lots of them and in turn uses their panels which also helps Samsung's net bottom line.... Crazy really....

      What I forgot to say though, is that unless Kogan is breaching the terms & conditions of sale and distribution of Kogan TV's with Samsung LCD panels, then Samsung doesn't have a leg to stand on. I would be very much surprised if Samsung's supply contracts would have clauses in them on the way the end product is marketed, but you never know - so if Kogan is in breach, then the commercials would have to be removed/modified accordingly.

      In reality, they could just modify the advert to verbally say there are "quality components from the top 2 panel manufacturers" without the graphical display of the Samsung logo.

        It's not that hard to understand. Samsung makes more money selling Samsung-branded TVs than it does from Kogan-branded TVs that happen to have their components. If Kogan markets them as the same thing, why is there any incentive to purchase the Samsung brand if Kogan's is comparble quality and cheaper?

          The incentive to go Samsung is that Kogan are crap?

        Kogan probably doesn't have permission to use any Samsung logos or trademarks so they can probably force them to remove those. At best I think they can temporarily stop the advertising as they make Kogan update the commercials. They probably can't stop them using the name "Samsung" in the advertisement however, just the logos.

    they may be samsung panels... but unless they are the same spec panel as samsung use in their own products, i wouldn't touch them....
    Samsung make good and cheap/bad stuff

    I've had both kogan and samsung recently and the samsung wins hands down.Very similar pricing, no 2 month wait for delivery at some unknown time and a media player that actually, like, you know, plays media (samsung had played _everything_ I've thrown at it and the kogan is 99% not-supported, and kogan says it's my fault for not reading the specs. Don't even get me started over the hopeless "pvr" function) I'm not, err wasn't, a kogan basher, I really wanted to give them a shot, but ended up being ripped off. Couldn't be happier with the samsung. Samsung should be ticked off their brand name is being associated with them.

    1. Retailer asks a manufacturer to produce a panel that is of "not the best quality" however that a serves its purpose.
    2. Retailer sells these panels at a much cheaper price and uses the manufacturers name as a reference .
    3. When the panel fails or malfunctions the manufacturers name is tarnished although they only produced what they were asked to produce. "a cheap panel"

      This.

      How anyone doesn't see this as the reason for Samsung being annoyed is stupider than Ruslan Kogan...

      ^ nail to head

      Regardless of Facts you CANT use someone else logo unless they have their permission...

      For comparison i would prefer a Samsung over any other home brand Tv using panels or not... There is more to a TV then just a panel...

    It'll be no skin off Kogan's nose. They'll just switch to LG. Hey, at least they aren't SONIQ panels...

    Samsung got a free ad spot. I really don't understand their issue.

    It's poor form from Kogan because it makes the customer think they are buying the same as a Samsung TV you could just pickup from jbhifi or HN now, where in fact, the quality of the output to the customer is completely different.

    A normal customer doesn't understand that it is just a Samsung panel.

    Suck it Samsung. Years of lying and telling everyone you use Sony panels in your LCD tv's and now someone is using your own marketing against you.

    Yeah, as much as I like Kogan's approach overall, I think they're pretty obviously over the line on this one.

    They should remove references to Samsung & LG (LG's not exactly a star in this space anyway). After all: Everyone now knows what brands they're talking about!

    After all... Now everyone knows what brands they're talking about anyway!

      Samsung and Sony had a joint venture in panel manufacturing, for last 5 years.

    Using 'Brand Power'? Really Kogan? Really?

    I expected more from you.

      That alone should be grounds for someone being shot.

      (yes, I know, they only do it because the format works... how can so many Australians be so stupid that these ads are considered effective???)

    So it's ok for Samsung to use unlicensed patents in their products, copy leading brand advertising and packaging, and that's ok, but Kogan promoting Samsung components, legally sourced and paid for, is not? The word hyprocracy comes to mind. I wonder how those Samsung execs are going on wide spread bribery and fraud charges are going? And the haters come in 3.....2.....1......

      Yes here come the haters.... Haters of comments like yours.
      Kogan is using the Samung name to sell his arguably inferior product.
      The following is straight from the BrandPower website
      " This means that in many Kogan TVs, you’ll find a Samsung panel, or an LG panel. So you’re getting the same quality picture as the big brand TVs that you’d typically pay a lot more for."
      It's clearly designed to mislead the general public into believing they are purchasing the same product at a cheaper price.
      I bet you even the same model Kogan TV will have varying components depending one when it was built and what parts were available.
      Bottom line is - it's a company using somone else's name, logos and trademarks to sell their own product. It's illegal without explicit permission. End of story.

        Thank you, you proved my point on haters. Give yourself an elephant stamp. I'm sorry. I only report the facts mack., but then your reality is obviously different to the real world. If Samsung SOLD their panels to Kogan, they have on-sold knowing Kogan will make televisions out of them. Problem? No. Can Kogan advertise the fact the televisions have Samsung panels in them? Why not, shouldn't the buyer know. Car companies advertise iPod connectivity in their cars. Is that illegal? If Samsung specifically states their equipment can't be used to advertise a third party product, then so be it. Now go troll some Apple forums.

          Brand Power should be fined by the ACCC for misleading advertising.

          You DO NOT get the same quality anything from a Kogan TV, vs's a Samsung TV.

          That is complete, and utter rubbish.

          I'm going to write to the ACCC, as this is a blatant case of misleading advertising by both parties.

    The problem is if they use Samsung's logo, if they say the name or write it in plain text then its not a problem, putting the logo on the ad makes it a trademark issue, they need permission.

    Samsung > Kogan.

    Yes, it might be a Samsung panel, but can one really compare and the 750i BMW to the 120i BMW?

    Kogan is misleading the public (sheeple). They are selling an inferior product using cheaper Samsung parts (or whatever), yet are claiming it to be equal to a genuine Samsung TV using better parts and better technology.

    The chips used to display the image are as vital to image quality. This is where Kogan falls short.

      If anyone watched Kogan on the ABC a few months ago ppl would know how useless he is -_-

      He always tells people "Its a Samsung Panel"... But everything else is cheap china bargain parts :)

      There is more to a Tv than just ist screen... The Kogan TV i brought for my GF's room (Small cheap made her happy) broke after 4 months, the Samsung i have as all my other Tv's have been going strong for 5+ years...

      If you are buying Kogan, your probably after a budget TV.

        Exactly why I steer clear of Kogan. For a budget tv, it's fine, but for a main TV, I'd much rather pay a bit more go with the guy who actually owns the fabrication plants.

    The issue is the implication that Kogan TVs are "effectively the same as televisions sold by Samsung" because of the fact that they contain Samsung components. From a legal perspective, it is of no relevance that Kogan TVs do in fact contain Samsung components. This is a text book case of 'passing off' and Samsung are right to protect their interests.

    As a consumer, my concern is that Kogan is attempting to mislead us about the quality of his products (all the while accusing Samsung of trying to hide the truth from consumers!). Instead of treating us like idiots by repeating the (true but irrelevant) claim that Samsung panels are used in Kogan TVs, why doesn't Kogan explain to what extent this contributes to the overall quality of the product? Let's see him justify his argument that because Kogan TVs use Samsung components they are reasonably comparable to Samsung TVs. As anybody who has ever bought a Kogan TV knows, they may have Samsung components but they are simply not comparable on quality.

    The more of Kogan's antics I see, the more unlikable I think he becomes. I think he has confused business success with personal intelligence and is the sort of guy who will end up losing everything. I hope not for his sake….time will tell.

      Damian - did you watch the ad? How is it "passing off"? Kogan clearly markets their TVs as Kogan TVs. If Kogan were "passing off" then they would be trying to mislead the public that their TVs are actually Samsung TVs. I think it is very clear from all of Kogan's marketing that their TVs are branded as "Kogan. When I purchased mine, I was fully aware of this. In my view, Kogan are simply stating facts in this ad. I say good on them for being upfront with the public and not giving in to Samsung's bullying - GO KOGAN!!

        Steve J - I'm afraid your understanding of 'passing off' law is incorrect. He may be advertising a TV called Kogan but in this particular ad, he is unlawfully taking the goodwill which Samsung have accrued to create a certain perception about his product. It is not necessary for 'passing off' that he tell people that his Kogan TV is a Samsung TV but that he falsely imply that his Kogan TV is of similar quality to a Samsung TV.

        The speaker in the ad says "inside they're made with the same components as the big brands (true) so they have big brand quality (untrue)".

        Using the Samsung logo is not objectionable per se. But using it in the context of the above commentary is likely to be interpreted by a consumer as 'inside they're made with the same components of the big brands such as Samsung (no problem so far) and therefore they are of the same or similar quality of Samsung' (not true and misleading). 

        Hence it is 'passing off' despite being true that Samsung panels are used. If Kogan was being honest and open he would say the fact that he uses Samsung panels does not mean that the product is of the same quality. It means nothing more and nothing less than that he uses Samsung panels! Instead, he uses the reputation of the Samsung brand to make his product appear more appealing. Customers are more likely to purchase a Kogan product if they are of the view that a Samsung panel attributes Samsung quality to the overall product. This is because the perception of Samsung's quality is valuable (ie. Samsungs intellectual property) and tapping into it is passing off. 

        Whatever your thoughts of Samsung, don't get sucked in by Kogan's David and Goliath rubbish (a pretty ordinary attempt to garner sympathy as the underdog - he is hardly David!). It is easy for him to say that when he is ripping off someone else's IP. Samsung are not bullying but asserting their legal rights, as Kogan would do i someone created a crap TV and said 'it is made in China, therefore it is like a Kogan TV'. Perhaps Kogan should apply to himself the same standards of advertising honesty/ethics that he demands of others. 

          If Samsung object to their panels being identified in Kogan televisions, then why do they sell them to Kogan in the first place? Ay? They'll take their money but not the acknowledgement their panels exist inside the television. Bit rich mate! Can't have it both ways.

            Kroo - Samsung don't object to their panels being identified in Kogan products. How could they? It is a true statement of fact. Indeed, they wouldn't object to that acknowledgement because it doesn't damage their brand.

            What they rightfully object to is having their intellectual property stolen ie. the implication that having a Samsung panel makes the TV equivalent in quality to a Samsung TV.

            Dont think you quite understand Kroo. It's like saying that a bridge being built will not collapse because it uses the same concrete as some awesome bridge, which is wrong. Theres still other components to make it work as well as quality of construction and materials. You can't argue that the end product is of the same quality just because they had a similar ingredient.

              Nice analogy. Some people really DO need pictures! :)

    It is pretty simple - samsung makes OEM components and makes consumer devices. Kogan is not entitled to claim they are the same thing. Components come in different grades and capabilities (eg resolution, backlight type, viewing angle, contrast, country of origin, MTBF etc), and the integration of the components and the support the company gives the final product is where most of the quallity of the final device comes from. This is a fairly clear trade practices breach IMHO - it is intended to deceive consumers.

    Fact! Iphone use Samsung panels, samsung ram, samsung cpu, samsung chipsets, are apple entitled too sell it as iphone and not samsung?

    Fact, Sony use samsung and some sharp panels, they have done so for many years. Not the other way round like some say here.

    Fact, 5 years ago many Australians were bagging the samsung product. Why? because or name recognition we all once knew, panasonic/ sony ruled the world. NO LONGER!

    Fact, Samsung components are in every electronic item we buy today, get over yourselves, they are the best at what they do.

    Fact! The reason there is no IPHONE 5 is simple, Samsung has refused some companies the technology they were once accustomed too receiving without question. APPLE being one of those. The iphone wasnt reliable because it was APPLE, its reliability stems from the components inside, mainly samsung.

    Fact, Samsung make many types of panels, Ultra clear being IPS panels make up 85% of samsung manufacturing. The Cheaper VA coded panels are what you see in Kogan, lg, and other branding. Lg , aos ect mainly manufacture cheap VA technology.

    In conclusion. FACT, Samsung are market leaders, they manufacture the best components period, they have in 10 years done what no other company has done, taken total control of the component supply. At Net worth of $100 Billion in 2010 and $146 BILLION in 2011 i suggest many start getting with the program. Apple's rule of smartphones has come to an end. Samsung are now the most popular, most reliable, most tech savy products in the world. Australians are just so one eyed.

    You really think samsung should allow Kogan the right to make money from their hard work. This aint labor governments taking all the glory for liberal policy as labor always do. This is much bigger.

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