Legal Question in Technology Law in California

Is it illegal to make a website inspired by a more successful website?

Lets say I wanted to make a website like...craigslist. If i design it with a totally different layout and add content that is similar but completely different. is it illegal? Why? Or Why not?

Asked on 10/28/11, 12:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

The law encourages competition, and copying the general format of an existing business is a form of fair competition. Just avoid copying specifics that are protected by trademark or copyright, or misappropriating trade secrets. Some might argue that "similar but completely different" is an oxymoron, but I know what you mean....similar but not the same.

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Answered on 10/29/11, 10:01 am

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