As designers, it is no surprise that other designers and the High Street stores copy ideas from us. There is a difference between mildly being influenced by something you have seen and blatant copying. Last year Lov Li discovered a "designer" had taken images of our owls and birds from the internet and reproduced them onto mugs, T shirts, greeting cards baby grows etc. They were selling them on an online store called www.zazzle.co.uk. The funny thing was, that they had used canvas images which happened to have Rachel Taylor's signature on the bottom corner..this person obviously didn't notice. The quality was also so bad as they were quite low res internet images! Luckily a threat with court action made them remove the products but the person still had made money out of our designs.
Designer and friend of Lov Li Gemma Correll also has had here images copied by big names such as GAP and is deeply frustrated by this ongoing problem. See here blog http://gemma-correll.blogspot.com/2011/01/pride-and-plagarism.html
She says, "I feel like I'm at the bottom of a design-foodchain (along with all the other illustrators and artists that this has happened to) when we're the ones thinking of the ideas, only for the bigger companies to steal them and make their own crappy versions. We make pennies, they make billions. It isn't fair. "
See the website http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/ to see more shocking examples