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Announcement Let's Talk About Clones

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
561
489
@TheHig I'm aware and it may not have been as dramatic as I made it sound but I do feel like the price is the only good point I see in it. I know the points I look at when I judge cases for myself. But I'm really curious to hear from one of what I would consider one of the " The Big Names" in this community that is actively dealing with this experience. This may not sound fair, but I would value his opinions more than the average member here (myself included) I'm actually really surprised by his take on both it and him still willing to allow conversation on it, especially since this is against one of his own designs.

Edit: BTW I think your post reflects how I feel to a T
 
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TheHig

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Oct 13, 2016
797
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Not unfair at all. Necere has a wealth of experience with the with design, kick starting and ultimately building and delivering an original boutique case. There are not to many who have accomplished this so hearing them weigh in is very interesting indeed.
 

Necere

King of Cable Management
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
947
1,931
Interesting point. I'm not a mind reader but could it be that may be he's avoided SFF because of the Streck issue?
I doubt it had anything to do with it. Patrik pretty much abandoned all the forum threads - not just here, but on [H] and probably others - a long time ago, and moved all communication to Slack.

@Necere

I was curious. Thinking back to what you said about cases not having a builders presence here, I wanted to ask a question since you clearly are the target of what I do feel is a copycat, not just a clone. I only mention it because you yourself brought it up and that there is no “builder” here I can offend.

How do you not feel the Cougar QBX is a straight rip off of your design? I have stated my case here trying to make sure the silent, small, actually trying to make something innovative guys have some protection, but I wouldn’t dare defend cougar in that. They remind me of other “big time” case makers (hint: TT and also Klnk) that I think have ripped smaller guys designs and used them.

Edit: and by this question I meant are there any design cues like material, size differences, etc. I know it looks a little different, and the size is a bit off, and of course the obviously cheaper material. I just want your opinion in what you yourself, as a “builder” look for in judging these matters.
The QBX shares the same basic layout, that's it. Everything else differs significantly. That's why I don't consider it a clone of the M1.

Really, the M1's layout isn't anything particularly special. Silverstone and Fractal had both done the PSU in front before - in the SG07 and Node 304, respectively. About the only notable innovation I came up with was the dual fan side bracket, which combined with the front mounted PSU makes for pretty space efficient packaging. Everything else had basically been done before in other cases. What I think sets it apart is not any one specific thing, but the totality of the design - all the small details that make it so flexible wrapped up in an appealing and compact package. It's a "more than the sum of its parts" kind of thing.
 

Walderstorn

Average Stuffer
Apr 29, 2018
67
26
What do you propose the mods do then? How do we define copycat?
I think @Necere reply is perfect as it is.


A community voting would indeed be something that could help get some guidelines about this subject. I wouldn't object to people being able to open topics about cases that come to the market, includig those in taobao and aliexpress but people would also have to realize that those "new cases" could be considered clones and eventually the topic be closed... or "moderated".
 
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bledha

Airflow Optimizer
Feb 22, 2017
303
263
delegating this process of identifying potential clones to the 'forum/community' - I feel it is democratic and to a great extent self-regulating - as a forum should be
This is a cool idea, and voting processes also creeped into my mind when shaving the other day as a possible solution to these issues – I do some good thinking while shaving, not sure why – but it was from a different angle. It is clear the spirit of the forum is to be welcoming and positive, and so maybe we can create like “SFF Awards” thing and rather than scold those who are being a little liberal with their inspired by designs, prop up the ones that the community thinks are great. Best layout, best DC/DC ITX, etc. This could be democratic and positive, and provide value and further exposure to creators rather than animosity between users. Like others have suggested, some “clones” fill a gap that some users willingly take advantage of. If something is too much like something else we have all essentially agreed on is a tough thing to create policy around...hence all this confusion! With the voting down (I mean the pointing of fingers) approach I feel like maybe things could get a little Lord of the Flies-y, know what I am saying?
If you strongly feel that something is WAY over the line make your point and move on. The best way to combat someone who you feel is up to no good is to just walk away
This is a rational and sane response to the situation, floated already with examples and consideration about 100 times in this thread, and we can see if others pay heed to this advice. It is just some are so gosh darn passionate about SFF, that they must be insistent in the “creators” thread about how it is too much like this or that. I am being mildly sarcastic, but in truth I understand. When something strikes you to your bones as not fair, you will be vocal about it – myself included. I must say I share your point here (as all my posts have demonstrated) however I also fully understand others who have a hard time doing this, in all sincerity.

Problem is for us all in this community to work well together, we all must be a little bit better than we can be. We must suppress our impulse urges to better the community, and that goes for everyone moderating and posting and participating and sharing – all of us.

The light at the end of the tunnel here is we are doing very well with that, we even have a space to share these disagreements. We are airing our frustrations together, and that is a step toward greatness.

Let’s not let some less than uniquely designed boxes come between us all, we have something really superfab here.

(EDIT: I love cases, forgive me for minimizing them to mere "boxes" it just serves to make my point stronger...sorry cases...forgive me).
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
Original poster
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Feb 22, 2015
1,005
1,614
This has been some good discussion. I've refrained from sharing any thoughts to ensure that we got a lot of perspectives accounted for in the thread; at this point I do want to address a few ideas that have come up (mostly just to clarify the SFF Forum team's thinking):
  • Our intent is to censor as little as possible. I think some folks have interpreted some moderator actions as us censoring folks criticizing clones, because they were criticizing clones. That's not our policy; we are only concerned with folks who are being disrespectful or antagonistic. We probably haven't been 100% at enforcing that and being as clear as possible about when and why we've enforced it, mostly because we're human, but know that that's the intent. I very much want there to be lots of discussion about clones, and anything that someone feels is a clone or copy, they should feel comfortable to say that. Just do so constructively and respectfully.
  • What is ethically ok/not ok with respect to clones – including what is and isn't a clone or copy – is highly subjective. I think this needs to be repeated: what defines a clone, and the line that separates a 'similar' design from an outright copy, is fuzzy as hell. In the past few pages in this thread you can see how differently people have interpreted where that line is, in certain circumstances, and with specific examples. I hope that illustrates how perilous it would be to base a censorship policy on such subjective criteria. Consider if your own idea was banned – or if you yourself were banned – for such reasons, and you disagreed with them. Consider the biases and ulterior motives that could be introduced through a select group of creators deciding which projects can be discussed, and which couldn't.
  • Heavier enforcement does not protect designers, it protects some designers at the expense of others. In any theoretical scenario in which SFF Forum is censoring certain designs or products, we are protecting established and entrenched brands at the expense of newer/younger or less well known designers. Given the subjective nature of this sort of enforcement, we would inevitably shut out folks who you personally think we shouldn't. That censorship would shut those designers out, causing significant harm to those individuals. It would also rob the community of their contributions, harming all of us collectively, and stifling creative innovation.
Hopefully this better clarifies our moderation policy and some of the specific ways in which we are concerned that more rigorous enforcement would be counterproductive.
 

Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
1,889
2,141
  • What is ethically ok/not ok with respect to clones – including what is and isn't a clone or copy – is highly subjective. I think this needs to be repeated: what defines a clone, and the line that separates a 'similar' design from an outright copy, is fuzzy as hell.
I will respect the mod team decision regardless of the outcome, but this statement I feel like is an excuse.

I do not believe most of us are really discussing what is clearly a clone, and what isn't. Most of us are discussing the validity of moderating a clone, whether it is in the best interest of the community to do so. And I do emphasize, most of us can easily spot a clone. The main offender that we are talking about, the Steck, is clearly a clone by the veterans and most users standard. It is quite clear cut. There is no fuzziness about it. Full stop.

Of all the many custom cases, renders, ideas that come and go, there was never really question of whether it was a clone or not. But now... when something is so clearly a clone, we're now saying that it's a subjective issue.

If you do not want to moderate clones in our forum, that is fine. That is the mod team's decision, but do not let the expectation of quantitative and measurable objectivity cloud the artist's discerning eye.

So far, we only have one bad apple. Let's hope the rest of the barrel won't get spoiled.
 
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jØrd

SCSI for life
Digital Seppuku
Moderator
LOSIAS
Gold Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
794
1,275
Weather or not that case is a clone is literally a debate that happened in that thread and whilst no one wants to read this, neither sides opinion on the matter was representative of a consensus. Also, as much as people want to make this about the Steck and the Ghost its really not. Perhaps people have just forgotten or perhaps they just wernt here but this is far from the first time this has come up and i doubt it will be the last.

EDIT: typo
 
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macbosco

Airflow Optimizer
Mar 20, 2018
304
702
www.nouvolo.com
Been keeping silent deliberately trying to avoid adding fuel to the fire. And would like to get more community thoughts and perspective so that I can make some constructive contribution to the discussion.

So far I have the following points to make, maybe for further discussion here:
- I am all for an awards / positive approach to encourage good designs, vs bashing, finger-pointing, etc
- now to the issue of 'clones', I feel that many here have their own stance already and are not prepared to be swayed. Hence there doesn't seem to be an agreement or common ground. I am suggesting this for you to think about:

Do you want to define what is a clone objectively?
- No, it is a clone when I say so, then further discussion is futile.
- Yes, but "quite a number" of the community feel that it is a clone, we define that as "objective opinion", so we take it as that. Why someone's opinion should carry more weight than others?

Should we have a due process to deal with this? Maybe define a list of things to consider, and maybe give it a score? When certain overall score is reached then maybe that constitutes as a 'clone'? Then how you want to deal with the outcome is another subject for discussion.

Clone checklist based on what constitutes to a 'design' (welcome your suggestions/additions)
- prior art
- exterior shape / structure / material / manufacturing process
- interior shape / structure / material / manufacturing process
- finishing / colours / process
- [the list can go on]

Obviously, we want a manageable and simple enough checklist for most to understand and be seen as transparent.

- Nah, the above is too much work to deal with. Then I am open to any easy but objective route.

It is a waste of time staying at an infinite cycle of "You say this a clone, I say this is not. Oh yes it is. Oh no I say it isn't..."
- EDITED due to issues raised by gunpalcyril, I would like to apologize if such comment is in anyway inaccurate.
 
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gunpalcyril

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 7, 2016
284
305
Been keeping silent deliberately trying to avoid adding fuel to the fire. And would like to get more community thoughts and perspective so that I can make some constructive contribution to the discussion.

So far I have the following points to make, maybe for further discussion here:
- I am all for an awards / positive approach to encourage good designs, vs bashing, finger-pointing, etc
- now to the issue of 'clones', I feel that many here have their own stance already and are not prepared to be swayed. Hence there doesn't seem to be an agreement or common ground. I am suggesting this for you to think about:

Do you want to define what is a clone objectively?
- No, it is a clone when I say so, then further discussion is futile. Who has the authority to decide?
- Yes, then lets define a list of things to consider, and maybe give it a score? When certain overall score is reached then maybe that constitutes as a 'clone'? Then how you want to deal with the outcome is another subject for discussion.

Clone checklist based on what constitutes to a 'design' (welcome your suggestions/additions)
- prior art
- exterior shape / structure / material / manufacturing process
- interior shape / structure / material / manufacturing process
- finishing / colours / process
- [the list can go on]

Obviously, we want a manageable and simple enough checklist for most to understand and be seen as transparent.

It is a waste of time staying at an infinite cycle of "You say this a clone, I say this is not. Oh yes it is. Oh no I say it isn't..."
Are you... trying to appeal... to get respect for your design?

I have nothing against your product legally, but I am so confused with what your end goal is with your last comment.

Pls correct me if I'm wrong.
 

macbosco

Airflow Optimizer
Mar 20, 2018
304
702
www.nouvolo.com
Are you... trying to appeal... to get respect for your design?

I have nothing against your product legally, but I am so confused with what your end goal is with your last comment.

Pls correct me if I'm wrong.
I have no end goal for anything o_O. Honestly, your question just got me asking myself this "Do I really...?" :confused:... Lets stop any prejudgement on anything or anyone, or trying to guess someone's motive. I am owner of the Steck project, it is of course my position to defend it, noone would expect otherwise.

I just stated that there are people who think Steck is a clone and some may have other ideas - unfair comment based on the thread posts? I would like to apologize up front if that is inaccurate description of the situation.

Would appreciate if the community would take the message post as a whole, and not pick on the motive on each and every sentence within. I think I have conveyed clear enough my points.
 
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Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
1,889
2,141
I have no end goal for anything o_O. Honestly, your question just got me asking myself this "Do I really...?" :confused:... Lets stop any prejudgement on anything or anyone, or trying to guess someone's motive. I am owner of the Steck project, it is of course my position to defend it, noone would expect otherwise.

I just stated that there are people who think Steck is a clone and some may have other ideas - unfair comment based on the thread posts? I would like to apologize up front if that is inaccurate description of the situation.

Would appreciate if the community would take the message post as a whole, and not pick on the motive on each and every sentence within. I think I have conveyed clear enough my points.
Macbosco,

Your product is unabashedly a clone of the Louqe Ghost S1. Never in our forum, has something come so obvious and uninspiring as your product. You received early feedback saying how yours look too similar to the Ghost S1 but still decide to stick to the clone design. As working professionals, let's not beat around the bush and even pretend this aesthetic design is original.

There is a saying, "If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." So many people provided feedback saying yours looks like a copy, and that you've become the prime example of what is considered a clone. There is no question about that, the Steck is considered a "clone."

But I will entertain the argument you put forth. What variables constitute a clone?

Clone checklist based on what constitutes to a 'design' (welcome your suggestions/additions)
- prior art
  • Only one that makes sense.
- exterior shape / structure / material / manufacturing process
  • I'm not sure why you even put manufacturing process on this list. There's only a few manufacturing process and it's not even considered an argument. CNC, Sheet metal bending, Stamping, those are just tools to an end. They don't matter. The only times it matter is if your manufacturing process is a patent-able clever and innovative way to construct something.
- interior shape / structure / material / manufacturing process
  • Same.

- finishing / colours / process
  • Same

We're talking about the painting that is plagiarized, but not brushes used. To move the conversation along, it would be something like this, using the STECK as a case example:

1. INTENT:
  • Is the intention of the designer and the design to be something distinctive? Is the designer using elements as inspiration and trying to create something original?
  • STECK: Multiple feedback cycles says the design looks too much like the Ghost S1. Designer did not care to differentiate his aesthetic design, and avoided claims of copying on the basis of mechanical and manufacturing process difference.
  • Verdict: Designer only commented on the mechanical design, added "improvements" that are considered stable of the PC building like feet and filter. The designer did not intend to differentiate his product. No enhancements to external design after multiple feedback.

2. The reasonable person test:
  • Can a reasonable person differentiate at a glance that the two are inherently different?
  • Would a reasonable person consider it a clone?
  • STECK: Please pick out which one is the Steck, and which one is the Ghost:
  • Verdict: You decide.
3. Is there a diverse number of opinion that it is a clone or not? Or is it in agreement?
  • STECK: Designers and users have pointed out how well it copies the Ghost S1. It is enough to cause a site wide discussion on cloning and how it affects the SFF forum.
  • Verdict: It is a clone.

Most of us aren't on topic of what constitutes a clone. The question really is:
  • Should we censor cloning on our forum?
  • Is it the spirit of the forum to allow the free exchange of ideas, even if they may infringe on the artistic language of the original designer?
Those are the fundamental being asked. We need to make above decisions, before we get to the stage of what is considered a clone.

It seems that the mod team have already made their decision, so there's no point in really discussing what constitutes as a clone.
 
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Flyingpepper

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jan 8, 2018
104
190
I have no end goal for anything o_O. Honestly, your question just got me asking myself this "Do I really...?" :confused:... Lets stop any prejudgement on anything or anyone, or trying to guess someone's motive. I am owner of the Steck project, it is of course my position to defend it, noone would expect otherwise.

I just stated that there are people who think Steck is a clone and some may have other ideas - unfair comment based on the thread posts? I would like to apologize up front if that is inaccurate description of the situation.

Would appreciate if the community would take the message post as a whole, and not pick on the motive on each and every sentence within. I think I have conveyed clear enough my points.

I honestly can’t tell if you’re being serious or not. So I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

To any reasonable person, it is without question a clone. No argument. End of story. When someone has to defend your case by saying “well the power LED is actually below the power button and not above it!” you know the differences are minimal at best.

You try claiming prior art by using a huge Cooler Master case when you very well know that the expansion system is the least of the concerns. I don’t think a single person claims Louqe is the only company that can have an expandable PC case.

You literally refer to Louqe multiple times in your own thread and even use photos of the Ghost to determine how to do watercooling in your own case.
 

Walderstorn

Average Stuffer
Apr 29, 2018
67
26
I will respect the mod team decision regardless of the outcome, but this statement I feel like is an excuse.

I do not believe most of us are really discussing what is clearly a clone, and what isn't. Most of us are discussing the validity of moderating a clone, whether it is in the best interest of the community to do so. And I do emphasize, most of us can easily spot a clone. The main offender that we are talking about, the Steck, is clearly a clone by the veterans and most users standard. It is quite clear cut. There is no fuzziness about it. Full stop.

Of all the many custom cases, renders, ideas that come and go, there was never really question of whether it was a clone or not. But now... when something is so clearly a clone, we're now saying that it's a subjective issue.

If you do not want to moderate clones in our forum, that is fine. That is the mod team's decision, but do not let the expectation of quantitative and measurable objectivity cloud the artist's discerning eye.

So far, we only have one bad apple. Let's hope the rest of the barrel won't get spoiled.
Could not agree more.
 

CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
733
882
smallformfactor.net
Wow this thread is getting steamy guys, c'mon fellas. Regardless of how i feel about this, I'm going to drop my "2 cents/opinion":

IP Holders of original cases: I think IP holders who have IP Patents on their original designed cases and case features, should be the able to defend themselves against those who make clones of their hardware, if they can and choose to do so. And they SHOULD pursue the clone makers to cease, if they can do so with evidence within the confines of the legal system of their resident country. Full Stop. Stealing ideas can destroy the livelyhood of the original boutique case designer, and I think that they should be allowed to protect their livelyhood.

The Mods & The community: The community giving what they would consider to be a "clone case" crap, openly within the confines of the clone case's forum thread... is a sticky situation. I believe they should be allowed free speech, to voice their opinions once in a constructive and not continuous and disruptive or malicious way. But the community needs to remain civil and respectful of all people, no matter what, this applies both ways.. to the clone haters and the clone makers/supporters and everyone inbetween. Let the Mods handle any who are disrespectful and disruptive to another human being. We all deserve to be treated kindly and with respect, but I also beleive that in some cases respect is something that needs to be given before it's earned by someone.

The Clone Case Makers: This forum is an international setting where people from around the entire globe can join and put up their contributions to the SFF PC case and accessory world. And in an international system such as this, you are eventually going to get clones, it's just how things work. Think I'm wrong? Look at China (nothing against it personally) but if you walk into the Huaqiangbei market in Shenzhen, China... what can you find... an off-brand clone of almost every peice of laptop/desktop PC and mobile phone hardware ever conceived by a "name brand" outside of China. No one person or entity can control what gets made or sold there, no matter how powerful. So i think we have to accept clones will exists in this forum, just like we accept they exists in the physical world.

TL;DR don't be lazy, scroll up and read it, lol.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
4,390
3,923
I've kept quiet for most of the discussion because the points were made that I wanted to make.

The stance that we as moderators and staff (I will just use the word 'staff' for us all) have decided on isn't that we support or don't support clones. We don't consider us qualified, neutral or homogenuous enough that we should arbitrate what is a clone and what isn't. While there are examples that are clear-cut, there are plenty more that are not. This discussion didn't start because of the Louqe Ghost and it's purported clone. It started because the discussion about clones in general was beyond toxic and the discussion was in a loop.

Hopefully people stop taking personal offense on the clone discussion, for the sake of the case developers. We can't stop people copying cases, even if we ban every remotely similar looking case project creator on our forum now and forever.
Every large company that has commercial products being copied (I don't need to name dozens of brands to make the point) have more people working in their legal department than us volunteer staff, just to deal with clones and other intellectual property theft. They have the means to figure out the law, they have the authority to speak for the companies on their behalf and they have the actual jurisdiction to file claims.

What's surprising to me is how some clones address many of the community's issues with the original project because the creator doesn't want to fulfill them or can't. I've seen creators go mute, have missed promised milestones by months/years, hasn't delivered the promised quality or doesn't have the promised features available. That is if the product ever gets to production and if it doesn't massively deviate from the original plan. Let's get some things straight: you can't just whip out a clone of a case easily. We're talking about people making a CAD design based on renders, concept drawings and a handful of measurements. If the case already exists, it's easier to clone but also less likely to make it in time to be impactful in Europe or the US. If someone is able to make a case out of that, leaving a factory at a price that's not roughly the same as the original, I'd be impressed. It either means quality/finishing is lacking or the original designer had an expensive production

The standpoint about cloning is very dependent on culture, locations and priorities. Sometimes you see the perfect layout but a price that's a lot more than you'd want (or can) spend. Sometimes the seller can't/won't ship to your country for a reasonable price and you have to account for >20% of import duties (my Cerberus X cost twice as much as the selling price). For some people they don't care about the story surrounding a case or the high quality finishing, they just want a case. While many fill their SFF builds with top-end hardware like it's a normal thing, many people still use considerably less high-end gear and don't have thousands of currency to spend on a new computer.

I wish we had more case designers that focused heavily on a cost-efficient design from the get-go. Because the truth is, most of the real clones out there are made because of the huge price difference between the original and the copy. If atleast a few designers started not with realising a dream but with raising the bar on the cost-effectiveness, a lot of the demand for clones would be squashed. By minimizing machining time and amount of tooling required, as well as a focus on materials that are easier to machine and/or less prone to defects, I'd expect costs to drop some atleast.
 

gunpalcyril

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 7, 2016
284
305
@macbosco lol you've really added fuel to the fire now. At this point take the "win" and just move on.

When I asked if you were trying to appeal for getting respect, I really meant that, cause I don't know if you are feigning ignorance, or just trolling now.

While we can be decent to each other as forum members, respect is earned, and the fact of the matter is, your case design is the spitting image of a certain previous competitors design. The mods have allowed your case to be marketed in this forum, but don't delude yourself that you deserve some sort of respect for your brand/design/IP etc.

I'm not trying to come off as snarky or as an angry fanboy, like i said my stance is that I have no legal conflict with clones/competitors; there will always be one in every market. But this is a forum with highly talented creators and enthusiasts who like to discuss design and share ideas, please try to not be dense about it.
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Bronze Supporter
Feb 23, 2016
1,311
2,665
www.lazer3d.com
Just like you can't stop clones, you can't stop people having opinions either.

If you show off a case that appears to be a copy of another project, then you should be prepared to have a thread that is cluttered full of replies calling you out on it and constantly referring to this fact.

It should be the main talking subject of the thread, after all its a copy. If you don't want people referring to your project as a copy, then make it different and the problem will go away.
 

CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
733
882
smallformfactor.net
Just like you can't stop clones, you can't stop people having opinions either.

If you show off a case that appears to be a copy of another project, then you should be prepared to have a thread that is cluttered full of replies calling you out on it and constantly referring to this fact.

It should be the main talking subject of the thread, after all its a copy. If you don't want people referring to your project as a copy, then make it different and the problem will go away.
I see your point, but this is an international bastion for the entire world of SFF, I feel.. we must be neutral and kind to each-other, while also being honest with our free speech. It's honest free speech to voice your opinion respectfully and call a clone case or cloned case design aspect exactly what it is... but it's not kind to constantly try to derail a thread.

Think of how this works in the US, you can protest any establishment within a reasonable range of it's building, to allow your opinions against it to be seen publicly by it's patrons in order to educate them, but you are not allowed to go inside the establishment, or to hinder those wanting to enter, both of which disrupt business.

Don't get me wrong, i believe in free speech, but in moderation. What do i mean? Free speech as a mirror of how it works in the US: in a respectful way, that doesn't incite violence on another entity. So what is the equivalent of that on a forum? I don't know. Am I one to say we should enact this sort of system on this forum? heck no, i'm no authority... but i do believe this: Post and discuss your opinion respectfully, without inciting to derail or disrupt a thread where some people are trying to conduct business. Because as @Phuncz mentioned, some people have good reasons to go after and legitimately do business with a clone case maker, it's their right, and they should be unhindered in doing so if we are truly to believe in the neutrality and freeness of speech we all have on the internet, and in this international internet community forum.