Counterfeiting is Dangerous for Your Trademark
Product counterfeiting operations continue to be one of the biggest threats to trademark security today. These operations continue to multiply as more criminals take advantage of high tax-free profits, the low risk of being caught, and minimal penalties if convicted. International organized-crime syndicates with deep pockets are now financing high-tech manufacturing networks engaging in counterfeiting and gray market crimes. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials lack the time, equipment and expertise to track down and stop counterfeiting schemers effectively.
Go to just about any street corner in any major city in the world. Chances are good that you’ll find an individual willing to sell you the latest designer product for a fraction of the retail price. Most times it’s obvious. After all, we know that the $25.00 Rolex watch or the pair of $10.00 Nike sneakers are probably counterfeit products, but in some cases the fraud is not so easy to detect. Why is counterfeiting so rampant? A few of the reasons include:
- Many excellent graphic artists are willing to duplicate the logos and designs of well-known designers.
- Third world countries continue to provide cheap, unregulated laborers to counterfeit items of substandard quality.
- Uninformed consumers like to purchase a product thinking they’re getting the “deal of a lifetime.”
- Some purchasers are aware they’re buying counterfeit merchandise, but continue to do so anyway.
- Counterfeit merchandise is placed in high-end stores and boutiques where their authenticity may not be questioned.
- Internal sources sell black market emblems and logo designs to counterfeiters, which are then placed on sub-quality merchandise.
The biggest problem is that many people believe counterfeiting is a harmless crime. They feel no remorse when they purchase counterfeit items-hey, it’s just another great deal. What they don’t realize, however, is that counterfeit merchandise can also be deadly. It’s one thing to buy a counterfeit t-shirt bearing the name of an impressive designer, but quite another to purchase counterfeit heart medication.
Intellectual property theft and loss of trade secrets can cost billions of dollars in lost revenue or market share, and may also damage a company’s competitive advantage over similar businesses. While thought by many, including consumers, to be harmless, the effects of counterfeiting run much deeper than merely duplicating a brand or a product.
Counterfeiting could also mean the illegal production of duplicate medical supplies or medicine. It is one thing to purchase a knock-off “Rolex” watch from some nameless salesman off the streets; it’s quite another matter entirely when purchasing heart medication from one of these criminals expecting the full medical treatment, and may lead to irreversible damage to the health of an individual. Think of the ramifications of counterfeiting to your company’s reputation. What if someone is harmed using a product with your name emblazoned on the label? It won’t matter that the buyer is later made aware that they used a counterfeit product. You’ll take the blame, and suffer the damages from the ensuing media frenzy.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Solution
How can you stop counterfeiting and protect your firm from its abuses? Let our team’s knowledge of the counterfeiting underworld, our contacts in law enforcement, and our ability to prepare evidence for judicial forfeiture proceedings help your company in its anti-counterfeiting efforts. We’ve helped many corporations enforce their rights in both civil and criminal cases, and have earned our reputation as a leader in the field of counterfeit detection investigations.
Kessler International is intimately familiar with all types of counterfeiting operations, from three-shift sweatshops to computerized factories. Our undercover investigators have years of experience in following small dealers to their large-scale suppliers. We have proprietary databases filled with the latest information about the people involved in product counterfeiting, their contacts and their methods of distribution. We’ve conducted hundreds of ex-parte seizures and successfully assisted law enforcement in search warrants and arrests of suspected counterfeiters.
Give Kessler International a call today. We will protect you from those who’d like to profit at your company’s expense.