Fatwa n° 1045
Category: Fatwas about financial transactions – Selling
The ruling concerning copying a manufactured
model and selling it below its price
I own a joinery workshop and I designed a model of a wardrobe and bedroom furniture through which I was known in the market and by the wholesalers. I had a worker who separated from me and opened a joinery workshop and made a model by copying my model but it was not perfect as mine. He sells his model below the price at which I sell my model. In the market, people cannot differentiate between the two models, and some traders do not inform the customers of that; so, with that, he influenced [negatively] my selling. Is it permissible for him to copy my model and sell it below my price? And may Allah reward you.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Among the established principles as regards the generality of the financial transactions is that the person is free to decide what type of industry or trade he practices and take it as a profession. In fact, it is not permissible to restrict one’s freedom of choice and the way he materializes it (his trade or his craft…) unless his choice or work is associated with religious prohibitions, or in case his choice opposes a public interest which must be given priority over his choice, or in case it causes mischief which has to be fended off, or it infringes upon one of the intellectual rights such as the right of invention and innovation, or someone who intentionally circulates his merchandise by deluding people into believing that his merchandise is the one which is known in the market to the detriment of the real inventor (of the merchandise) especially if the competition is accompanied with the intention of harming his competitor; the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم : “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” (2).
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on Rabî‘ Al-Awwal the 30th, 1431 H
Corresponding to March the 16th, 2010 G.
(1) For more benefit, you can review some fatwas that are related to the subject-matter herein:
- “Concerning the dealing in merchandise having a false trademark”, (n° 359).
- “The ruling concerning importing the non-original spare parts and selling them”, (n° 439).
- “The ruling concerning trading in products bearing counterfeited trademarks”, (n° 651).
(2) Reported by Ibn Mâjah (2341), from the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbâs رضي الله عنهما. An-Nawawî said concerning the hadith n° (32) from “Al-Arba‘în An-Nawawiyya”: “This hadith has many ways of narration that strengthen each other”. Ibn Rajab said in “Jâmi‘ Al-‘Ulûm Wal-Hikam” (378): “It is as he said”. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwâ’” (3/408), n° (896) and in “Ghâyat Al-Marâm” n° (68).