Although the company was allowed to use the name Eames, it had to publish a statement on its homepage advising consumers that its products were not “manufactured, approved, or associated with” original designers and clearly identifying replicas as such. Since the Eiffel or bucket chair was created as a prototype among the designers’ participants in the MoMA low-cost furniture competition in 1948, Charles Eames’ own words about good design for everyone are often quoted as a philosophy to justify the so-called unlicensed iteration – like other providers of flimsy versions were the Robin Hoods of democratic design. When it comes to design, however, intellectual property law is pretty clear, but the ethical boundaries of what the creators of the design owe, such as the identifying design riff of the Eames chair, are blurred. Time interviewed Charles Eames in an article titled Sympathetic Seat from July 10, 1950, about the production of the prototype chairs.
This is the death knell for affordable replicas of 20th century bestsellers such as the Arco floor lamp and Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair and threatens to drive many of the companies that supply them out of business. According to Gowling WLG, simply owning the products without the intention to sell or trade — for example, a restaurant that uses fake Eames chairs — is not against the law in most cases, according to Gowling WLG. This includes products such as the egg chair by Arne Jacobsen and the DSW plastic chair by Charles and Ray Eames. It’s a shame that genuine Eames chairs are sold at such a price that most normal people can’t afford to own them.