Gorillapod maker Joby is taking legal action against a manufacturer of ?fake gorillas? ? an imitation tripod that reportedly can cause camera and tripod to crash onto the ground.

A spokeswoman for Gorillapod?s UK distributor Intro 2020 told Amateur Photographer: ?We understand that Joby USA are in litigation with the manufacturer of these tripods.?

She added: ?I cannot comment any further.?

It is not clear whether any of the fake products have reached the UK market.

The source of the inferior imitation has not been identified, reports Japanese trade publication Pen News Weekly, in its issue dated 19 October.

Gorillapod?s importer Kenko has warned the Japanese photo trade that the Joby logo and ?quick-set? camera plate is missing on the imitation.

?The rubber part of it is very weak and may be peeled off like an eraser,? a Kenko spokesman told Pen.

Kenko explained that, unlike the genuine Gorillapod, the fake product ?does not stick firmly – so that it may drop with the camera?.

Joby makes three sizes of Gorillapod, two designed to carry SLRs and one to support compact cameras.

The Gorillapod?s legs are designed to be flexible – so that it can wrap around trees, posts and the side of a rock, for example.

Photographers can contort the tripod into various positions using ball and socket type joints that aim to bend and rotate 360 degrees.

On its website Intro 2020 states that Gorillapod comes with a ?quick-release plate that can be clicked into position and the release button can be locked for added security?.

Picture: The genuine Gorillapod tripod, made by Joby