How counterfeiting is proving to be detrimental for the fashion industry?

Counterfeiting of top-notch fashion brands has become a common affair. Not just regular clothing and accessories but even luxury items are being duplicated in large numbers. According to EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), counterfeiting is worth around 10 % of the fashion brands sold in countries like the UK, Spain and Italy. The countries have some of the highly popular designer brands with a global demand which makes them highly susceptible to counterfeiting. The problem of duplication not just leads to monetary loss but also weakens consumer trust and tarnishes the image of the brand.

Of late, fashion brands have increased their measures against counterfeiting and are ensuring ways to protect their intellectual property. There are different types of anti-counterfeiting solutions available in the market to protect clothes, shoes and other kinds of accessories. Authentication products such as security holograms, security labels and hot stamping foils provide a strong anti-counterfeiting quality to the product. In the past few years, RIFD technology is being widely used to provide product authentication for apparels.

One of the biggest fashion brands Gucci recently asked funeral shops in Hong Kong to not sell their paper versions of goods for burning at funerals. Burning paper replicas of things your deceased ones could want in the afterlife is an age-old tradition. This drew criticism from both the shops and customers.

Despite the crackdown on counterfeiting in the fashion industry weak IPR, corruption and red tapism has turned the measures futile. There is a lack of coordination between the countries on counterfeiting and this has led forgers to grow their business with ease.

An EUIPO report states that manufacturing of duplicate goods often takes place very close to the authentic product. Spare parts and raw materials are assembled in the same Chinese factories which manufacture the counterfeits with the same materials at night. Due to the high level of precision involved in manufacturing both original and fakes it becomes difficult to distinguish between them.

Amongst all the fashion products counterfeit footwears are the most seized products. From designer high heels to sports shoes, boots to limited edition trainers and many such products are being widely counterfeited. The cheap grade copies of popular fashion products can cause confusion in customers and a bad name to brand. However, many customers do not bother the authenticity of a product and buy a knock-off just for the sake of buying a product with the logo. Most times low prices of the copied product play the most important role in attracting a customer who cannot pay for the genuine product which comes at a comparatively higher price.

The issue of counterfeiting is so widespread in the luxury goods and fashion sectors that some people feel it’s almost pointless to try to combat it. Coco Channel dismissed imitations of her iconic tweed suits as good publicity and refused to try to control the fast-moving fashion industry by taking measures against copycats.

The issue of duplication is so prevalent in the fashion industry that many experts feel its useless to fight it. Many luxury brands have resorted to not act against counterfeits because it gives them indirect publicity. However, this is not the case with many other brands which think that stern measures against counterfeiting are the only way to save their image and profits in the long run.

ibm blockchain platform

Seagate collaborates with IBM to reduce counterfeiting of hard drives

IBM has announced a tie-up with Seagate Technology to reduce counterfeiting of hard drives by using blockchain and other security technologies. The collaboration will help business partners, integrators, manufacturers to fight the menace of duplicate hard drives.  The IBM Blockchain Platform will bring a new level of multi-layered security to the product.

International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition has presented a data with more than $1.7 trillion in value. Seagate will update the IBM blockchain platform on the IBM cloud with authentication data based on the Seagate secure electronic ID at the point of manufacture.

A unique identifier can be used to verify the identity of a hard drive at any time throughout the entire life cycle. The Seagate’s erase utilises the cryptographic erasure technology to data purge digital certificate, electronically signed by the Seagate Secure public key infrastructure and stored on the blockchain for compliance management with emerging data privacy laws.

IBM’s blockchain expertise powered by Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric ledger framework, the IBM blockchain platform is designed to allow network participants to append and view blockchain data based on their level of permission.

Bruce Anderson, MD, IBM said that blockchain technology can be extremely effective in confirming provenance and authenticity of assets.  The ability to combine blockchain with advanced cryptographic product identification technology is what sets their work apart. Counterfeit electronic components are a global issue that requires an ecosystem-wide effort to address.

Source: VentureBeat

The threat of counterfeiting in computer hardware industry

Personal computers have become an important part of our lives. People young or old have become accustomed to using computers for a score of activities. With the boom of hand-held devices, computers now rest in our palms and laps, making it convenient for us to perform things at the click of a button. However, the humongous computer and IT industry have been facing the threat of counterfeiting and it has affected the profits and growth of big organisations. Besides this consumer are being duped with cheap products which lead to monetary loss and data loss.

There is also a growing trend of counterfeit software packed in original and authentic packaging. This illicit practice is quite old but has scaled upwards drastically over the past few years causing trouble for the consumers and manufacturers.

Counterfeiting in the computer hardware industry is done in different ways. From using a lower specification component to using cheap grade parts and refurbished parts. For example, a typical PC sold with Pentium IV microprocessor can be incorporated with cheap grade remarked microprocessor.

Forgers often make some technical changes which show that operating system software and the chip as Pentium IV. In this, the consumer is not able to identify that he has provided with a PC with altogether different specifications.

In memory chips and hard disks, there are certain modules that are repaired and refurbished and later utilized in new computers. Many times, a lot of old used components are segregated and collected to be later used by counterfeiters.

Most of the counterfeit manufacturers used old products in new casings and packaging and sell them as brand-new monitors. An example can be Mechanical keyboards that are actually Membrane keyboards embedded with thin metal sheets.

Often PCs with licensed operating system have pirated copies of the software and are supposed as original due to high-quality imitation. But its not just limited to single consumer purchase even large organisations have to bear the brunt of counterfeiting.

While the consumer has to bear the monetary loss there are also many other implications of counterfeit computer hardware and software. There are high chances of malfunctioning even under normal conditions. A little fluctuation in voltage can cause severe damage to the microprocessor and other components. In such a situation the repairing cost of the computer can be really high.

IT plays one of the most important roles in the functioning of an organisation and regular system failure, server malfunctioning or malware can lead to high maintenance cost, loss of productivity and many times the loss of important data. It has been observed that the cost of maintenance of cheap grade IT is much higher than buying a branded product.

fake cosmetics

DCGI issues notices against retail giants for selling fake cosmetics

Online giant e-commerce companies Amazon and Flipkart were served notices after their website was found to be selling fake, adulterated cosmetics in India.

The companies are caught in stir after many resellers on the websites were found to be selling “unregulated and fake cosmetics” under the nose of these companies, Livemint reports.

The companies in the meeting with Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on November 1 have committed to preventing the sales of “unregulated and fake cosmetics”.

Amazon and Flipkart were both served notices in October for violation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 provisions after an investigation found that some resellers on their websites were selling illegally imported beauty products.

DCGI said Amazon and Flipkart both were found to have been selling “adulterated” and “unregulated” cosmetics on their websites while products ranging from stem cell-based cosmetics, serums, skin whitening creams, glutathione injections and hyaluronic acid filler injections were illegally imported besides selling fake cosmetics containing ingredients which are not permitted for use on human.

The drug regulator directed the senior executives from Amazon and Flipkart to look into such sales or face stringent action.