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Send in the Clones

Will competitors' knockoffs destroy your products' edge? Not if you don't let them.

This story appears in the September 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The Entrepreneur: Jay Sorensen, 45, founder of Java Jacket in Portland, Oregon

The Product: Sorensen's product, the Java Jacket, is a patented, honeycombed insulating sleeve that slides over a paper cup filled with a hot beverage. Java Jackets are used in coffeehouses, specialty stores and convenience stores nationwide. Sorensen's was the first insulating jacket on the market, and his first customer was Coffee People, a small chain of coffee shops in Portland, Oregon. Though Starbucks uses another type of insulating sleeve made by a competitor, Sorensen's Java Jacket continues to dominate the market.

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