Ryan Ma created what he thought was a clever way to help owners of Apple’s new wireless AirPods ear buds keep them safe and secure. Because of their small size, AirPods are at risk of getting lost or easily stolen. They already come in a case that some say resembles a package of dental floss, so Ma decided to create a sticker that AirPod owners can put on the case that makes it look like . . . of course, dental floss. He started selling the sticker on Etsy for $4.99.
Problem is, Ma’s sticker looked too much like real dental floss, specifically Proctor & Gamble’s Oral-B Glide brand dental floss package design. Yes, it used “Oral O” instead of Oral-B and the brand name was changed to “Glides” — but even the blue and white coloring was the same.
The original stickers got a lot of press coverage on a number of websites, including Gizmodo, where you can view a photo. In Ma’s own words: “It kind of blew up from there.” Then Etsy notified him that his product listing had been deactivated as a result of a trademark infringement notice from Proctor & Gamble.
So what’s next for Ma? He said he first “freaked out a bit” and then redesigned and renamed his sticker “Flossy” — which as of this writing is still available on Etsy.