June 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
A FBI investigation into fake cosmetics lead agents to Rice’s Flea Market in Philadelphia this week. Local police and customs officials were present as they raided booths at the market and seized boxes of counterfeit cosmetics. All vendors are told that they are not allowed to sell counterfeits, but some decided to take the risk. Unfortunately those selling the counterfeit cosmetics were not arrested that day, only given a slap on the wrist. Fake beauty products from cosmetics to fragrances can contain harmful bacteria, toxins and even anti-freeze. It is not uncommon for consumers to have severe allergic reactions to these types of counterfeits.
“It’s potentially dangerous, and I know a couple stories of people who’ve gotten rashes from putting counterfeit perfumes on,” said one vendor, Vicki Cychowski. “The colors of the boxes are different and, a lot of the time, you can tell the color of the liquid is the wrong color,” she said.
The best way to spot fake products is to do your homework. Know what the packaging looks like. Should it have a shiny or matte finish? How is the logo placed? Are the products supposed to be named or numbered? Did the brand even make a color with that name? These are all question you should ask yourself when shopping for cosmetics at locations other than the brand’s official stores. Of course the easiest way to steer clear of fakes would be to shop directly from the brand or it’s trusted retailers every time.
June 17, 2011 § 1 Comment
This week has been a busy one in the fight against counterfeits. CFDA President, Diane Von Furstenberg and CFDA Executive Director, Steven Kolb took a trip to Washington to speak to Congress about the importance of design protection. (The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act in December). Steven Kolb posted to twitter as Furstenberg spoke to legislators: “We need to value creativity. Not having protection is embarrassing — @dvf.”
(Image From Steven Kolb’s Tumblr of Furstenberg, Kolb & Rep. Nancy Pelosi)
Another big story to hit the press this week was the probe into counterfeit military parts that have been sold to the Unites States government from China. The Senate Armed Services committee began to investigate counterfeits in March, but the Chinese have refused to provide Visas to investigators trying to locate the source of the counterfeits. According to a recent article on Bloomberg.com, the DCIS also is investigating over 200 allegations of substandard or non-conforming parts that do not meet military specifications. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin and Arizona Senator John McCain sent letters to the Chinese consulate in Washington to request the visas, but Chinese officials had asked them to postpone the investigators’ trip.
June 10, 2011 § 2 Comments
Today was a big win in the fight against fake designer products. Initially reported by WWD, Tory Burch has won a $164 million lawsuit against over 230 websites who have been cybersquatting and selling counterfeit Tory Burch products online. The term cybersquatting refers to a website who uses a designer or brand’s name in the domain name (URL) in order to deceive shoppers into believing their site sells legitimate merchandise.
Burch spoke out against fakes to Women’s Wear Daily saying, “Many people think that buying a fake product is harmless, but counterfeiting is estimated to result in annual losses of over $20 billion to American companies.”
And that is just in the United States. Counterfeiting is a global problem that effects more than just corporations, brands and designers. Besides contributing to criminal acts, counterfeits deprive jobs from hard working citizens as well as contribute to down economies.
Key numbers to know:
- Estimated $600 Billion annual sales in counterfeit products worldwide
- $512 Billion global sales lost to counterfeit goods
- $1 Billion estimated annual loss in New York City tax revenues due to counterfeiting
- 750,000 jobs lost due to intellectual property theft in the United States
It could be seen this morning that the fight against fakes is only going to get stronger. Executive Director of the CFDA, Steven Kolb, who was also quoted in the WWD article, tweeted this morning:
To which Burch responded: @ToryBurch “Just starting!”
June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
This week in the fight against counterfeiting led to multiple arrests, seizures and partnerships:
- Atlantic City, New Jersey law enforcement seized $150,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise from boutiques along the Atlantic City boardwalk. A total of 3,530 purses, wallets, clutches, bags, belts, shoes, scarves, belt buckles, jewelry, watches and leather goods also were seized. Via Press of Atlantic City.
- Unilever announced it has pledged to support National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in the fight against counterfeit products in the Nigerian market. Via Business Day.
- Police arrested and charged a man for unlawful use of unidentified sound recordings. 3,100 illegal DVDs valued at $7,800 were recovered. Via Plainfield Blotter.
- Counterfeit alcohol served on a cruise in Turkey led to the hospitalization of 30 Russian tour guides and one killed. Doctors said the poisoning was from highly toxic methanol, or methyl alcohol. Via Bloomberg News.
- The Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Agency asked the Kenyan government for more funds this week to up its staff and intensify research, which would help deal with counterfeit cases and thwart counterfeiters in Kenya. Via The Standard.
- Toyota in Nigeria launched an anti-counterfeiting campaign against fake automobile parts. Counterfeit spare parts could result in short life span of engines due to wear, frequent visits to a mechanic, high maintenance costs and unguaranteed safety and security of the vehicle. Via PM News.