Casio initiates a major drive against fake products

Global electronics giant Casio has started an anti-counterfeit drive by which the company is seizing duplicate products across the country. The company is taking such measures to control the market of fake watches and calculators. Casio is also taking legal action against importers, wholesalers, and retailers dealing in counterfeit items. From the start of June, the company has conducted many raids around the country with the help of local police.

Raids have been conducted on wholesalers and retailers dealing with counterfeit products in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Chennai, Kolkata, Vadodara, and Bhopal. During the raids, large quantities of counterfeit Casio watches and calculators were confiscated by the authorities.

Through this step, the company has been successful in passing on a strong message and creating a deterrent amongst the infringers of its brand and intellectual property rights. With the anti-counterfeit move, Casio has conveyed a strong message against infringers of its brand and intellectual property rights.

A senior police officer in Delhi said: “We had received a complaint from the company following which a drive was initiated in the city. We have recovered several hundreds of fake watches and calculators. More than a dozen people have been arrested in this regard and a case under relevant sections was registered.”

Casio has also initiated legal action against Snapdeal for sale of counterfeit calculators and watches on its online platform. In this matter, a Delhi court has granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction order in favour of Casio, restraining Snapdeal inter alia from selling, displaying and advertising goods bearing the trademarks of Casio. The company has said that seizure through customs is one of the most effective ways of fighting counterfeit products. As part of its anti-counterfeit drive, the company has been actively training Indian Customs personnel across the country on how to identify fake products. Indian Customs personnel have been successful in seizing large quantities of fake Casio watches imported from China.

Source: Outlook India

The growing menace of fake products in the e-commerce industry

The e-commerce industry in India is facing the menace of counterfeiting. According to Local Circles, a community media platform, one in five products sold on e-commerce websites in India is fake. Another survey by market research firm Velocity MR has revealed that every one out of three online shoppers has received a fake product. However, that’s just a minor revelation and the problem is much bigger. In the present times when your favourite products are just a click away the incidents of counterfeiting have increased rapidly.

Counterfeits pose a risk to the manufacturer, e-commerce players and end-consumers. According to a reputed media house, fake products are risky for the investors and government exchequer. Fake goods don’t just impact genuine brands and investors but also the customers. A fake cosmetic can ruin the skin, a counterfeit toy can be dangerous for a child or a fancy looking apparel may cause skin allergy the list seems endless.

In order to the fight the scourge of fake products in the e-commerce industry, the Indian government has issued a draft national e-commerce policy which aims at regulating cross border data flow, prevents piracy and counterfeiting and requires all online sellers to register their business locally.

E-Commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba have also implemented different regulatory measures for curbing the sale of counterfeits on their platforms. In a blog post, Amazon has stated, “Brands provide us with their logos, trademarks, and other key data and we can scan over 5 billion product listing updates every day, looking for suspected counterfeits.”

Product tracking, digital authentication, serialization and holography can also play an important role in preventing counterfeits and any form of tampering. A recent example is the rampant use of QR enabled holographic labels or holograms by which help in authenticating the genuineness of the product instantly.

Many e-commerce companies are also using anti-tamper packaging labels and holograms to prevent tampering and duplication. Anti-counterfeiting mechanisms have become necessary today for e-commerce companies and manufacturers in order to clamp down on counterfeiting and prevent any possible loss. In case you are willing to secure your products from counterfeiting, tampering and diversion call us on +91–785-785-7000 or drop a mail at connect@holostik.com.

How product packaging can be made impeccable in context of security

Product packaging is an important step in ensuring maximum safety of products from tampering, theft and other forms of counterfeit. A coordinated and secure packaging framework coupled with a reliable track-and-trace system is key in supply chain security.

In a world of digitalized logistics and e-commerce, the physical security of products is no longer a supplementary layer of protection but a necessity.

Counterfeiters today operate on a larger scale than ever before, with entire factories featuring advanced technology focused on creating perfect copies of products provided by well-known brands or manufacturers. Trusting the entire supply chain security to a supposedly strong legal framework and the precaution of consumers is simply not a good strategy.

A sound supply chain security strategy would involve a proactive approach in implementing technology that allows manufacturers to track their products throughout their distribution chains and a packaging system that makes it impossible for counterfeiters to tamper with the products or replace them with cheap knockoffs within the legitimate supply chain.

Authentication solutions

Authentication in packaging is usually achieved with sealing and holograms. Depending on the level of security required, sealing and holograms could have advanced security features such as pressure-sensitivity, customized tamper-evident fracture patterns, a blacklight verification system, and machine-readable entrenched code.

These are sometimes heat-sealable and may be applied directly to product containers using induction seal technology, making it tamper-proof. Multiple films may be applied to form a single holographic seal that provides a high level of defense to containers or bottles.

Nano-optical technology

The use of nanotechnology in product packaging highly elevates the unlikelihood of counterfeit interference and solves the many limitations associated with synthetic packaging techniques.

Managed microstructures and nanostructures on technologies such as holograms offer features such as water resistance, heat stability and tamper-indicative change of color that cannot be reversed.

Tamper-evident packaging systems

Tamper-evident packaging systems may include solutions like wide-web films, holographic shrink sleeves, and security pouches. The tamper evidence feature maintains product integrity by preventing repacking or reselling of the items.

Figure: Example of a shrink sleeve

Shrink sleeves are a leading packaging application in industries such as food and beverages, cosmetics and detergents. These are heat-sealable and conform to the shape of containers making it harder to tamper with. Tamper-evident shrink sleeves come with microstructure holographic authentication for advanced security.

Figure: Example of a wide web film

A wide web film is a holographic film with a characteristic design covered securely around a product or product container. To open the container and remove the product, the film must be cut or torn.

These holographic laminated films offer a completely non-invasive solution to prevent any sort of tampering and are used extensively for flexible packaging. These films vary in thickness and may come in PET (12 microns) or BOPP (20 microns).

Security pouches provide external tamper evidence and can be combined with the internal seals for double security. These usually involve rotogravure printing technology and the highest level of optical security features.

Tamper-evident packaging systems take the high-security value of nano-optical and holographic authentication solutions and combine it with high-quality printing and materials for a secure and appealing protection solution that increases product security and enhances the brand value.

For more on shrink sleeves, security pouches and wide web films, click here. To find the ideal product packaging solution for your business, click here.

Pashmina products to get BIS certification against counterfeiting

In a recent development in Leh, Ladakh the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has released a domestic standard for identification, marking and labeling of Pashmina products – to certify their purity.

“The move will help to prevent the counterfeiting of Pashmina products and will protect the interests of artisans and nomads who are responsible for the production of raw materials and textiles”, said Smriti Irani, Minister of Textiles.

The step will help in determining better prices for the goat-herding community in Ladakh and handloom artisans producing authentic Pashmina items which are at a disadvantage due to lot of poor marketing practices, as per an official release.

Currently, around 2,400 families are rearing 2.5 lakh Pashmina goats which are domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh. Around 50 metric tonnes of finest grade Pashmina (12-15 microns) is produced in Ladakh.

The Ministry of Textiles is developing a proposal for funding ₹20 crore for a dehairing plant in Leh that will lead to the progress of the Pashmina sector in the region of Ladakh.

Source: fibre2fashion

APIs of drugs may soon get track and trace for authentication

According to recent news reports, the Health Ministry may soon introduce codes to track and trace key ingredients that are used to make medicines in India. The move will be the first step by the government to determine the origin and movement of drugs manufactured here and ensure their authenticity.

A senior official from the Health Ministry said, “A draft amendment mandating quick response (QR) codes at each level of the packaging of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used to give medicines their therapeutic effect is ready and will be notified soon.”

“For a medicine to be effective, the API has to be effective. As a first step, every API manufactured or imported in India will bear a QR code on its label at each level of packaging.” the official said.

India currently imports APIs of the value of Rs 12,255 crore from China to make essential medicines, as per government data. Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) India’s main drug advisory body during a meeting this year discussed necessary provisions for India’s drugs and cosmetics rules mandating QR coding on API labels.

Earlier this year, issues with qualities of APIs were raised during a Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) meeting when Punjab sought provisions to make API manufacturers accountable and responsible for the quality of products.

“APIs by various vendors have been found without specifications with respect to their quality and in certain cases, desired effects are not obtained,” revealed the DCC minutes of the meeting. A track and trace system for pharma products has been under discussion for several years but implementation has bee stalled after the intervention by sections of the industry in the past.

Honda two wheelers conducts raids to deal with fake auto spare parts

Recently, Honda two-wheelers conducted enforcement raids against manufacturers and traders who were dealing in its counterfeit products. In order to guarantee safety, the two-wheeler manufacturer created an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) team in 2017. The team has until now implemented countless measures against traders, manufacturers and suppliers who deal in duplicate Honda spare parts.

In June 2019, the company with the help of local Police executed four raids in the cities of Delhi and Cuttack. The raids were conducted on traders, manufacturers, suppliers and unauthorized service centres. After the raids around 10,462 fake items including fake parts, accessories, dies, scooter guard kits, fake packaging machines and label printing machines were confiscated. The company said that the overall value of fake products and parts is valued at around Rs 49 lakh.

The police conducted two raids in Delhi on the basis of a complaint made by a manufacturer against fake parts and accessories being sold in Karol Bagh market and Bawana Industrial Area. In the city of Cuttack, the police raided premises of two service centres running under fake Honda brand name at Sector 9 and Chandi road.

Honda’s two-wheelers IPR enforcement team has collaborated with the local police as well as the investigation agencies and has jointly conducted raids in the cities like Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Cuttack, Gadhi Hasaru (Gurgaon) and Ahmedabad. As a result of the raids 94,000 fake spare parts, accessories and other items worth Rs 2 crore have been seized.

Honda two-wheelers also pointed out that all genuine Honda parts feature tamper-proof high-security MRP label which can be used to differentiate between its genuine and fake auto spare parts. It also added that the company’s original spare parts are available at authorized outlets, service centres and distributors across India.

Source: Timesnownews.com

How does counterfeiting affects consumers?

Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing menace which has an evil impact on different industries. Organisations lose millions of dollars every year due to the sale of counterfeit products. The problem of duplication has sneaked in every sector. It is estimated that by 2022, the value of counterfeit and pirated goods will be around $1.90 -$2.81 trillion as per FICCI.

Most of the times the repeated attempts of organizations to fight the counterfeits have turned futile. A large amount of money and resources are spent on fighting fakes. However, it is not just the companies which are facing the wrath of counterfeit products, consumers also bear its brunt. To say it simply, there are many impacts of duplication on the consumers.

Duplication poses a significant risk to consumers. Counterfeit goods can lead to injuries, illnesses, death as in the case of counterfeit drugs. In cases where counterfeit goods cause no physical harm, consumers are harmed financially when they are duped into spending their hard-earned cash for a poor-quality fake.

Let’s discuss the negative effects of counterfeiting on consumers.

Fake products are harmful to the health of consumers: Whether it’s a counterfeit drug, counterfeit alcohol or a fake food item all are harmful to the health of the consumers. People who consume these items generally report of food poisoning, nausea, indigestion, kidney and liver ailments.

Duplicate products lead to the monetary loss of the consumers: Besides having a negative impact on health fake products also lead to the financial loss of the consumers. Every year it’s not just the companies but consumers also lose an enormous amount of money as they are duped due to fake products.

Consumers lose trust in the product and the brand: Many a time a product or a service is beneficial for the consumer but due to the sale of counterfeits original products and companies lose their credibility. This brings down the reputation of the brands in the long run and a company is not able to win the trust of the consumer again.

Counterfeiting on the global level-An overview

Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing problem across the world. It badly affects the government, businesses, and consumers. People across the world are suffering from the menace of duplicate products which is regularly authenticated by different reports and news coming from different parts of the world.

Market experts believe that the growing globalization is the main reason behind rampant duplication. They say that in order to increase their manufacturing capacity and hire cheap labor big companies shifted their base to developing and third world countries. However, the major problem in these areas was that of lack of anti-duplication regulation and poor IP laws.

This made the way for counterfeiters and they were easily able to steal technology to manufacture duplicate goods. With the passage of time, they became more organized and took counterfeiting on a much larger scale.

According to a report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) United States, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan, and Germany are the hardest hit countries, with the majority (83%) of fake goods originating (not surprisingly) from China and Hong Kong. European brands are among the most impacted, with an estimated 5% of all goods imported into the European Union (EU) being fake. This represents as much as $118 billion.

With the growth and penetration of internet technology counterfeits are now being sold on different internet platforms. According to the International Trademark Association, “Criminals prefer to sell counterfeits on the Internet for many reasons. They can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet with the Dark Web even their IP addresses can be hidden. The Internet gives them the reach to sell to consumers globally-outside of the national limits of law enforcement.”

The global problem of counterfeiting must be addressed on multiple fronts with collaborative efforts of the government, industry players and anti-counterfeiting solution providers.

New invisible nano ink may help in preventing counterfeiting

Duplicating and counterfeiting of goods is a growing problem across the world. Different anti-counterfeiting measures like printing barcodes or holograms can prevent counterfeiting of products.

Now nanotechnology may provide a solution to get rid of the menace of counterfeiting. The technology depends on the changes that happen in nanoparticles when subjected to certain conditions. These changes can be easily identified but the technology is difficult to copy or replicate.

Recently, researchers at the Advanced Polymer and Nanomaterial Laboratory (APNL) Tezpur University have developed a new, light emitting nanocomposite-based ink that is not visible under light but can be detected when kept under an ultra-violet light. The ink is quite useful in preventing counterfeiting on paper and plastic.

Niranjan Karak, Group Leader of APNL said, “The nanocomposite has an intricate structure to prevent imitation. By dispersing it in organic solvents like xylene, it transforms into an ink that can be used to mark a label. The liquid appears pale-yellow under visible light and glows with a cyan tint when exposed to UV light of specific length.”

The performance of the ink was tested by writing a few letters on paper and plastic. It was found that the letters were not visible in daylight, whereas when kept under UV light, it glowed with a cyan hue.

For convenience the ink can be loaded into the refill of a sketch or gel pen and has a shelf life of up to ten years and degrades in a few months only under the action of soil microbes.

Source: thehindubusinessline

The link between counterfeiting and organized crime

International law enforcement and market experts have established a close link between counterfeiting and other forms of criminal activities. It has been found that the counterfeiting business helps criminals to fuel other illegal activities and vice-versa. EUROPOL (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) has even warned that counterfeiting is an increasingly attractive avenue for organized crime syndicates to diversify and increase their illicit businesses.

It has also been found that counterfeiters use similar routes and modus operandi to supply counterfeit goods as they do to smuggle drugs, firearms and human trafficking. Profits from other crimes and illicit activities also help in the production and distribution of counterfeit goods. Many reports from different countries have established the fact that profits from crimes like drug trafficking and other crimes were used to promote the business of counterfeiting and, similarly proceeds from the sale of duplicate goods were used to promote the criminal’s other illicit activities.

One of the main reasons why criminals choose counterfeiting over other criminal activities is due to its favourable ratio between potential profits and possible risks. According to Executive Director, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Yuri Fedotov, “In comparison to other crimes such as drug trafficking, the production and distribution of counterfeit goods present a low-risk/high-profit opportunity for criminals. Counterfeiting feeds money laundering activities and encourages corruption. There is also evidence of some involvement or overlap with drug trafficking and other serious crimes.”

As per trade, reports counterfeiting is now placed amongst the highest income sources for organized criminal activities. Counterfeiting or duplication also helps in money laundering by providing a platform through which criminal organization can invest the proceeds of their illicit activities. In a nutshell, organized crime syndicates use counterfeiting as a medium to optimize their other criminal activities.