'Shark Tank' Fans Slam Product Pitch for Allegedly Copying Major Success From Show's History

This week's episode of Shark Tank featured a pitch for The Scrubbie, a cleaning sponge with a nozzle attachment. The investors on the show and fans at home were not impressed, as they all pointed out how The Scrubbie's logo and packaging design looked a little familiar. It looked similar to one of the most successful products in Shark Tank history, the Scrub Daddy.

The Scrubbie founders Jeff Dakin, Matt Hosey, and Tyler Kessler made their pitch to Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O'Leary, and Robert Herjavec, and hoped to raise $100,000 for a 10% stake in the company. Greiner and Herjavic instantly pointed out that the logo and packaging design they showed off all looked very similar to the Scrub Daddy's packaging and logo. The founders claimed they did not notice the similarities, notes Meaww. Still, they left the show without making a deal. The Sharks were not happy with the logo, noting that two sponge products with similar logos would not be helpful for anyone.

Many Shark Tank fans predicted that the Scrubbie founders would face a trademark infringement lawsuit in the future. During the broadcast, guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky explained that the Scrubbie product itself might be different from the Scrub Daddy, but the trademark is not. He noted that entrepreneurs must make sure that their name and branding are significantly different from another product in the same sphere.

"The [Scrubbie] product is differentiated but the trademark is not. Entrepreneurs need to have a distinct name & brand identity. If the name/branding is too similar to something in-market, consumers get confused, which isn't good for anyone," Lubetzky tweeted. He noted that he had sympathy for the Scrubbie creators, but "entrepreneurs need to find ways to create proof of concept for their business by generating sales. I was surprised [Scrubbie] had not reached out to any retailers."

The Scrub Daddy is one of the most successful products pitched on Shark Tank. The company was founded by Aaron Krause and appeared on Shark Tank in October 2012. Greiner made a 20% equity stake deal with Krause. As of July 2020, Scrub Daddy has reached over $209 million in sales, reports CNBC. In 2014, Grenier called her decision to support the company one of the "Best investments" she has ever made.

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As for the Scrubbie, its founders posted a full clip of their appearance on Shark Tank on Instagram. "Well, we didn’t make a deal but we hope you saw the value in The Scrubbie. It’s innovative, it’s useful and it’s original," they wrote. They sell the Scrubbie attachment and sponge for $19.99 on their website. Shark Tank airs on ABC Fridays at 8 p.m. ET and can be streamed on Hulu.

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