Illegale WWS Speichen Plagiate – Bezugsquellen-Prüfung empfohlen

Knock-offs or imitations of our "cloverleaf" spokes

Customer feedback, sample purchases and research have revealed that in recent years more and more 'knock-offs' of our "cloverleaf" spokes have been offered and circulated in Europe. This applies in particular to the M3 and M3.5 in the smooth and straight-gauge version.

We would like to point out that we do not issue any licences for the use of our "cloverleaf" mark. Some ancient national and international industrial property rights apply exclusively to the spokes we manufacture, enabling consumers to distinguish between branded products and "no-name" items.

Trademark rights

We want to retain a degree of tradition for the German market, but not allow or facilitate access to European markets for imitations originating from the Far East. Of course, we are flattered that our products are worthy of imitation, but in the eyes of the law, anyone who puts such items on the market has the status of the manufacturer and is therefore guilty of infringing our trademark rights. How many intermediaries are involved in the distribution chain is of no consequence in this regard. So, in plain language: if a retailer sells imitations, it will be assumed that they themselves have produced them in deliberate breach of the industrial property rights. Here is the relevant legislative text in the official translation of the original: "It is prohibited to offer goods under the sign, to put them on the market, or to stock them for the above purposes".

The rights in question are derived from the provisions of Section 14 of the German Trademark Act (MarkenG), whereby the owner of a mark has exclusive rights to the mark. This means that no one apart from the owner is allowed to use the mark in an identical or similar form for identical or similar goods. The goods may not be offered, put on the market or stocked for the above purposes with such identifying marks applied to them.

Intended action

We will continue to make targeted sample purchases in the future and, if necessary, take further action against all those who put these imitations on the market.

We hope that you understand why we feel we must take such action, which, although regrettable, is nevertheless fully justified. At this point, we would also request your assistance in identifying new sources of imitation. We generally reward help of this kind with a set of "cloverleaf" spokes for the relevant vehicle.

Find your original "clover leaf" spoke in the retailer search, or just contact us by e-mail (info@wws-speichen.de) or phone if you have problems obtaining the spokes you are looking for.

Distinguishing features

Production and material characteristics, as well as wear and tear of the stamp, can result in changes or variations in the appearance of our cloverleaf in the spoke head. The smaller the spokes, the more likely it is that the actual shape of the cloverleaf will be blurred. Whatever the case, the four leaves of the clover mark will still be recognisable. The blurring or minor changes in question have no bearing on the validity of the industrial property rights, since, according to the Trademark Act, similar signs also fall within the scope of protection of the registered sign. The illegal copies in circulation vary widely; they are mainly recognisable by the following:

  • Incorrect tensile strength and elongation of the parent material
  • Poor gauge accuracy
  • Poor aesthetic appearance
  • Incorrect thread sizes
  • Dents in the inner hook region
  • Incorrect diameters
  • Copied cloverleaf is of varying quality

These imitations tend to come from the Far East and are smuggled into Europe via importers. We can easily distinguish the original from a counterfeit version on the basis of material analysis and comparison. Below you will find illustrations of spokes, all of which were offered, sold and thus illegally circulated as "cloverleaf" spokes.

Examples

Example 1: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with a reduction from 3.40 mm to 3.10 mm
  • Surface is fully chrome-plated
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread not uniform in shape and covered in multiple inclusions
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Good/very good reproduction of the cloverleaf logo
Example 2: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.42 mm to 3.13 mm
  • Surface very rough in parts, but fully chrome-plated
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread of uniform shape but too short
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Reproduction of cloverleaf logo looks blurred
Example 3: Stainless steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.42 mm to 3.13 mm
  • Unpolished surface – wire is very rough
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread not uniform in shape and too short
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Reproduction of the cloverleaf logo tends to merely suggest the outline
Example 4: Stainless steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.42 mm to 3.13 mm
  • Unpolished surface – wire is very rough
  • Severe deformation of the wire at the top under the head
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Spoke head is not fully concentric
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread not uniform in shape and too short
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Reproduction of the cloverleaf logo tends to merely suggest the outline
Example 5: Stainless steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.42 mm to 3.13 mm
  • Unpolished surface – wire is very rough
  • Severe deformation of the wire at the top under the head
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Spoke head is not fully concentric
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread not uniform in shape and too short
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Reproduction of the cloverleaf logo tends to merely suggest the outline
Example 6: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.40 mm to 3.10 mm
  • Chrome plating of the surface is of mediocre to poor quality and the wire is rough
  • Severe deformation of the wire at the top under the head
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread not uniform in shape and covered in multiple inclusions
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Very good reproduction of the cloverleaf logo
Example 7a: Stainless steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.42 mm to 3.13 mm
  • Unpolished surface – wire is rough
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Spoke head is not fully concentric
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread not uniform in shape and too short
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Reproduction of the cloverleaf logo tends to merely suggest the outline
Example 7b: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.42 mm to 3.13 mm
  • Chrome plating of the surface is of poor quality and the surface is rough
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread of uniform shape but too short
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Mediocre reproduction of the cloverleaf logo
Example 8: Stainless steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3.5) with reduction from 3.42 mm to 3.13 mm
  • Unpolished surface – wire is rough
  • Severe deformation of the wire at the top under the head
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Rear head angle of the spoke head is wrong
  • "Nose" in the rear head is too large
  • Upper flank diameter exceeded and therefore not to gauge
  • Upper dimensional limit of the external diameter exceeded at the thread
  • Thread not uniform in shape and too short
  • Spoke nipple wobbles on the spoke – a first sign of poor gauge accuracy
  • The nipple supplied can be turned on the spoke – poor gauge accuracy
  • Go/no-go gauge almost falls through the nipple
  • Reproduction of the cloverleaf logo tends to merely suggest the outline
Example 9: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M3)
  • Surface is fully chrome-plated
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Thread of uniform shape
  • Acceptable gauge accuracy
  • Cloverleaf logo more reminiscent of an Iron Cross or similar, but is interpreted as a cloverleaf – very hard to identify clearly
Example 10: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M4)
  • Surface is fully chrome-plated
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Thread of uniform shape but too short
  • Acceptable gauge accuracy
  • Cloverleaf logo more reminiscent of an Iron Cross or similar, but is interpreted as a cloverleaf – very hard to identify clearly
Example 11: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M4)
  • Surface is fully chrome-plated
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Severe deformation of the wire at the top under the head
  • Thread of uniform shape but too short
  • Acceptable gauge accuracy
  • Cloverleaf logo more reminiscent of an Iron Cross or similar, but is interpreted as a cloverleaf – only recognisable on close scrutiny
Example 12: Chrome-plated steel spoke
Plagiat einer WWS-Kleeblatt-Speiche
Imitation
  • Metric thread (M4)
  • Surface is fully chrome-plated
  • Dents evident around the hook
  • Severe deformation of the wire at the top under the head
  • Thread of uniform shape but too short
  • Acceptable gauge accuracy
  • Cloverleaf logo more reminiscent of an Iron Cross or similar, but is interpreted as a clover leaf – only recognisable on close scrutiny

Find your original "clover leaf" spoke in the retailer search, or just contact us by e-mail (info@wws-speichen.de) or phone if you have problems obtaining the spokes you are looking for.

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