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Kogan In Trouble Over Click Frenzy

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 20/11/2013

Ruslan Kogan is in controversy again, accused of copying the Click Frenzy name, without premission

Click Frenzy organisers have taken legal action against Kogan, accusing the etailer of trademark infringement, after it ignored an order to stop using the trademarked 'Click Frenzy' name. 

Click Frenzy lawyers issued a 'cease and desist' notice to Kogan in the last few days, requesting it to stop using the 'Click Frenzy' brand or trademark, which has been branded a "gross breach" of intellectual property.

"We've got a registered trademark for word Click Frenzy and logo," says Grant Arnott, founder of 'Click Frenzy' online 24 sale event, likened to Cyber Monday in the US. 

He hit out at the "gross breach of our intellectual property and trademark, when we saw Kogan advertising a Click Frenzy page featuring content completely unrelated to our brand. "

Arnott's team are waiting to hear back from Kogan, who appears to have ignored the order and continued with its own 'Click Frenzy' sale on kogan.com.au, which kicked off yesterday - hours before the official ecommerce event went live at 7pm last night, with over 300 retailers including Myer, Big W, on board. 

However, founder Ruslan Kogan eschewed the accusations saying: "Click Frenzy's attempt to own the concept of an Online Sales Day would be the same as Harvey Norman trying to own the concept of a Boxing Day Sale. These sales events should happen organically with retailers responding to consumers' needs."

Last year, the electronics etailer took part in the organised Click Frenzy event, but this year decided to go it alone, avoiding fees payable to Click Frenzy organisers. 

"Kogan has every right to have an opinion on Click Frenzy, however hypocritical that may be. Kogan was a very interested party when Click Frenzy was announced in 2012, making multiple enquiries about participating in the inaugural event as a paid advertiser. There were no issues raised about the model then, with Kogan sending an email to us stating 'We would like to be part of it.  What do we need to do in order to make that happen?

Arnott says "Kogan's misguided assertions about Click Frenzy [are] absurd and baffling. To even raise the question that we could be being granted a monopoly over online frenzies, clicking or any other form of sale activity is ridiculous. "

"I find Kogan's statement offensive with the mere suggestion we are doing anything questionable by defending our intellectual property." 

Other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith have used the word 'frenzy 'in their (non affiliated) sales event this week, but Kogan was the only one who ignored the legal threat, used the 'Click Frenzy' name without permission.  

Its a "backhand compliment", Arnott admits but says "we have a right to protect our business. We welcome competition but don't welcome companies copying our brand". 

Last year, the inaugural Click Frenzy was branded 'Click Fail' after the organisers website and participating retailers sites went into meltdown, leaving thousands of unhappy consumers, and a major backlash on Twitter. 

 But Arnott will not let the Kogan issue distract him from today's event which he anticipates will be a resounding success, free of IT glitches. 

He expects 1.5m -2 million consumers to hit Click Frenzy affiliated retailers looking for bargains. 

The Click Frenzy site seems to be ticking over well, so far, with positive comment from bargain hungry consumers on Twitter. 

"We focused on having a successful event, " he says, which is "better than any other event out there".

The Click Frenzy founder says he's "confident there is plenty awareness of the 24 hr sales event" and executed a large digital marketing campaign.

The launch of the second Click Frenzy event also featured on Prime Time TV last night. 

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