Innovation First reacts to The Apprentice Hexbug knock-offs

The firm issues a statement after the BBC show features copyright infringing 'i-insects'.
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Team Phoenix made lots of money on Wednesday's episode of The Apprentice - thanks largely to a vibrating insect toy that's suspiciously similar to Innovation First's Hexbugs.

Lord Sugar's would-be business partners bought the i-insects at 60p a pop and sold them to kids on an Essex market stall for £2.99 - a margin of about 400 per cent.

Innovation First holds a patent for the vibrating tech found in its Hexbugs, and has successfully enforced its copyright more than 1,000 times since 2010.

If the i-insect TV appearance wasn't bad enough, Lord Sugar gave the product a personal endorsement in a Tweet after the show:

Reacting to The Apprentice appearance, Innovation First said in a statement:

“Innovation First International work very hard to protect and defend our IP rights for this unique product, so it is disconcerting to see a poor quality copy product being featured on the BBC. We are dedicated to ensuring that the high standard of products that our fans, especially parents, have come to expect is maintained and not tainted by low quality imitations.”

Innovation First actually owns the rights to the name “i-insect”. It was awarded the use of it following the outcome of a recent lawsuit against another vibrating bug product which also went by the name i-insect.

You can watch the episode, for a limited time, on iPlayer here.


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