Yeti Cups – And the Legal Issues of Knockoffs

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I’ve had several readers email me about various lawsuits that pop up in the news surrounding Yeti cups. (In case you aren’t familiar, Yeti is the name of a company that makes and sells indestructible coolers and tumblers. Yeti tumblers are stainless steel cups that keep your drink hot or cold for an extended period of time. Yeti products are popular with Silhouette Cameo and Cricut crafters – especially those living in the South.)

So, what is going on? Yeti has recently filed lawsuits against several retailers claiming that they are infringing on their product lines. Furthermore, Yeti is asking in the lawsuit that the knockoff products be removed from shelves, destroyed, and customers refunded for their knockoff purchases.

Here are links to news articles for you to read:

You can buy authentic Yeti products on Amazon at this link.

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Yeti Cups - And the Legal Issues of Knockoffs - What Silhouette Cameo and Cricut Crafters Need to Know - by cuttingforbusiness.com

19 thoughts on “Yeti Cups – And the Legal Issues of Knockoffs”

  1. If Yeti wasn’t taking advantage of people there would be no need for “generic” brands. If Walmart can sell it for $10.00. So could Yeti. Taking advantage of the public is not cool and makes people really want to buy from you. Why pay $40.00 when you can buy the same cup for $10.00?

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinion! Devil’s advocate: why pair several hundred dollars for a name brand pair of jeans when you can get the same for $20? Answer: It’s the brand name.

  2. Ok, then I’d also like to play devil’s advocate: you don’t see Levi’s suing Walmart for “knock-off” jeans and claiming that consumers are so stupid as to not know the difference between a pair of Levi’s and pair of Walmart store brand jeans. Post-it isn’t upset at the dollar store knock-off of their sticky notes…and I could go on and on. I’m not a confused consumer. I think $40 is an outrageous price to pay for one cup, I’d like to be given an option as a consumer as to where, how, and on what I spend my hard earned money. Levi’s isn’t threatened by other companies who make jeans, if Yeti’s products are so far superior consumers will buy them. At this point I feel as though Yeti doesn’t stand behind their own product, because if you truly believe your product is better in function and quality then why would a so called “knock-off” scare you so badly that you need to sue every single one of them?

  3. Frances, it is patent infringement. It is overall a copy of a product that money was spent by Yeti to research and develop. Yeti can make up the research and design money during the time they can sell the product at high prices without competitors while the patent is still valid. No patents = no incentive to develop product in first place. If Yeti did not design the $40 product, there would be no $10 product. $10 product is just jumping in the market too soon is the issue. Patents aren’t for life is my understanding.

    1. That’s just silly. The original patent for a “Beverage Can Cooler” was filed and published in 1964, US3302427A. Yeti stole the design and took advantage of it just as others are doing so against Yeti. What goes around comes around.

  4. I would like to add that the “knock off” cups that Walmart is selling are more than knock offs. They work just as well IF NOT BETTER than a Yeti. They are equal in quality and function to the Yeti for a FRACTION of the cost. That is what scares Yeti. But what Yeti fails to realize is that people who want a Yeti and the “status” of a Yeti will still buy them. This is an affordable alternative for people who would otherwise NEVER buy a Yeti. Being overpriced like Yeti is, they automatically limit their own sales potential.

  5. I think the real issue for Yeti is that many of the “knockoffs” on sites such as Amazon are actually counterfeit. They’re using Yetis name, labels, logos, actually copying the cups outright. I own a legit one, and a fake, and theyre so close in appearance that you’d never know, until you use it. The fakes arent crap by any means, but definitely inferior, and if the crafter sells it as a legit Yeti, after adding their designs, they are also part of the copyright infringement.

  6. Funny, everyone complains about Yeti prices and says “If Walmart can do it for $10 per cup them why not Yeti!”. But people forget, or fail to understand,that Yeti did the research and development and manufactured and tested a wide variety of cups before they found their final design, research patents to make sure they weren’t stealing the design and intellectual property of others, filed patents to protect their products,researched manufactures that could recreate their products on a high production volume with high precision, determined how to ship bulk quantities of their product to wharehouses they owned or rented, repackaged for delivery to stores and individuals, marketed their product via television, radio, the internet, public displays at a wide variety of events and organizations, paid salaries/benefits to staff, developed a market for their products, equipment and infrastructure, and the list goes on and on. Bringing a new quality product to market, getting the public interested, building brand loyalty, etc. all costs money. Lots of money, time, and energy. And that’s why the majority of new products fail.
    Others like RTIC come in, and also Walmart, and avoid all the costs involved with creating a novel product and instead steal the design. And that’s why a RTIC and Walmart can sell a Yeti type cup for $10. And that’s why RTIC settled patent infringement lawsuit and has to now design their own products and pay a fine to Yeti. Sadly people don’t understand that buildings business costs money.

  7. I just got a cease and desist letter from YETI. They’re also demanding all profits and sources of their counterfeits. I stopped selling YETI branded cups four months ago because I believed them to be counterdiet. Now I have to do a legal battle with a giant four months after the fact. Spoiler, the counterfeits came from their own factory in Shenzen.

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