Counterfeits Infiltrate The Military, Government Takes Charge

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

At a press conference last month, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin reported that counterfeits had infiltrated the Pentagon’s supply chain. According to, this includes microprocessors for fighter jets and microcircuits for Missile Defense Agency hardware. A new bill was proposed to target “malicious offenders– those who already are guilty of trafficking in counterfeit goods and know that they are selling military counterfeits.” It is supported by three major groups: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Semiconductor Industry Association.

In response to counterfeits the Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship released a report detailing the necessary steps the government needs to take in order to monitor the management of electronics more carefully. These four goals are listed in the report:

    1. Build Incentives for Design of Greener Electronics, and Enhance Science, Research and Technology Development in the United States (e.g., launch prize competitions to stimulate innovations in green product design, recycling solutions, and other phases of the electronics lifecycle).
    2. Ensure that the Federal Government Leads by Example (e.g., encourage electronics manufacturers to expand their product take-back programs, and use certified recyclers as a minimum standard in those programs, by expanding the use of manufacturer take-back agreements in Federal electronics purchase, rental and service contracts).
    3. Reduce Harm from US Exports of E-Waste and Improve Safe Handling of Used Electronics in Developing Countries (e.g., support ratification of the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and provide technical assistance and establish partnerships with developing countries to better manage used electronic equipment).
    4. Increase Safe and Effective Management and Handling of Used Electronics in the United States (e.g., launch voluntary partnerships with the electronics industry and provide guidance to electronics recycling employers).

These are all great goals as well as necessary steps in order to improve the management of electronics and stop counterfeits from getting into the supply chain. Bloomberg even joined with several top agencies last month in “Operation Chain Reaction” to intercept counterfeit military parts sold to the government. Counterfeit electronics are dangerous. Whether it be fake batteries, curling irons, cell phones or computer chips, they all can be faulty and some have the potential to explode. Make sure you purchase products from reputable retailers and trusted websites.


Round up: This Week In Anti-Counterfeiting

July 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

The week started off with the hearing for the IDPPPA (ID3PA). Witnesses included Lazaro Hernandez, designer for Proenza Schouler, Jeannie Suk, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Christopher Sprigman, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law and finally Kurt Courtney, Manager of government relations at the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

Memorable quotes during the hearing included:

  • “We are helpless against copyist who prey on our ideas. Fashion design is intellectual property that deserves protection.” -Lazaro Hernandez
  •  “We need to stop knockoffs which directly undermine the market for the original designs.” -Jeannie Suk
  •  “[The IDPPPA] contains protections to ensure designers can seek inspiration & harness fashion trends w/out frivolous lawsuits.” -Kurt Courtney

Later in the week, the fortunate ones who were fast enough to scoop up a CFDA/eBay “Can’t Fake Fashion” tote posted on their blogs about their one-of-a-kind purchase. The lucky ones include: BryanBoy, Chi City Fashion and Founder of e Drop-Off, Corri McFadden. Some bought the simple tote and designed it themselves. Check one out here.

No matter what designers do, Forever21 seems to keeps copying their products. Feral Childe is the newest victim of Forever21 and this week it was announced that they are suing the retail giant for copyright-infringement.

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The CFDA and eBay Agree, “You Can’t Fake Fashion”

July 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

On Monday the CFDA and eBay launched the anti-counterfeiting campaign, “You Can’t Fake Fashion.” The two are collaborating to raise awareness against counterfeit goods and celebrate original design within the fashion industry. eBay and the CFDA produced a collection of 50 exclusive totes customized directly by America’s foremost designers and sold exclusively on eBay. All proceeds benefited the CFDA Foundation.

The one of a kind bags sold for $150 and were sold out in a matter of hours. Designers included Phillip Lim, Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Catherine Malandrino, Coach, Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Judith Leiber, Narciso Rodriguez, Peter Som, Rachel Roy, Rodarte, Tory Burch and Vivienne Tam just to name a few. We know BryanBoy snagged the Peter Som original.

Here is a great video of all the participating designers talking about counterfeiting; how it impacts the economy as well as fashion:

This is a great awareness campaign for American designers. The CFDA has been making great strides against counterfeiting recently. We look forward to seeing what’s next!

A Closer Look Into The “Art” Of Faking It

July 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s no secret that it is becoming incredibly difficult to spot a fake. With counterfeiters using real leather, impressive logos and similar stitching, you’re going to have to really know the product in order to know if it is authentic or not. Last week Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal interviewed key players in the fight against counterfeit fashion and what they are doing to stop fakes. Tom Onda, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at Levi Strauss & Co. was quoted saying, “Online sales of counterfeit goods make fighting back a much more complex task than it used to be… trying to monitor the Internet is a Herculean task.”

Makers of counterfeit goods are getting ever more sophisticated with the quality of their copies. Portero Accessories Director Elizabeth Bernstein spoke with the Wall Street Journal about how to spot fakes in a video online:

With so many websites selling counterfeits popping up on the internet daily, it is hard to keep track of them and shut them down. As a consumer, the best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Check out these great tips the Wall Street Journal gives on how to spot a “good fake:”

  • Buy directly from the brand. A sure-fire way to buy an authentic product is to purchase a new item at the brand’s own boutique.
  • Find an authorized retailer. If you cannot buy something from the brand directly, ask for a list of its approved sellers. Department store chains, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, are reputable points of sale as well.
  • Check the authenticity policy when buying second hand. If buying a used luxury item from a website or a consignment store, carefully read or ask for its sales policy. Make sure the seller guarantees its products’ authenticity.
  • Be wary of discounts. Top luxury brands rarely offer deep price cuts on their merchandise. Be suspicious if a luxury item is marked more than 25% off the retail price.
  • Scrutinize websites selling the product. Counterfeiters have gotten more sophisticated in selling goods online. Examine the website for its validity, including product images—and price points. Another clue: often times the Frequently Asked Questions area contains grammatical errors.

Don’t be duped!  Go to for more information on how to spot a fake.

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