We’ve some good news for trademark owners and those fighting counterfeit goods! Authorities in Italy have seized and shut down 410 websites selling counterfeit goods including fake Prada and Patek Philippe products. In addition to blocking the illegal websites, raids took place in 11 cities across Italy from Milan right down to Palermo, Sicily.
The fashion industry contributes an estimated 60 million euros to the Italian economy and stifling the supply of counterfeit goods is key to supporting the industry. The counterfeit problem is estimated to have grown by 10,000 per cent in the past two decades, fuelled by rocketing consumer demand and advances in technology. The 2014 report of the Italian Center for Social Investment Studies (CENSIS) revealed that counterfeiting in Italy brings in 6.5 billion Euros per year. The biggest problem faced by luxury fashion companies is the dilution of their brands. When a brand that is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity is copied extensively and inferior products bearing the brand’s logo are made available, the brand is less attractive to its customers.
We all know the nasty business that goes on in the murky world of counterfeits - slave labour, drug trafficking, terrorism, and let’s not forget the jackets made with animal faeces - yet the industry continues to thrive. Wigs And Gowns are delighted to see authorities working to bring down counterfeiters. However it’s everyone’s job to take responsibility and think before they buy. If people continue to buy fake products, the counterfeiters will continue to sell them. While it’s not always easy to spot a fake, especially online, remember the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So if you spot a pair of this season Louboutins in Selfridges for £800 and spot what appears to be an identical pair online for £150, it’s unlikely they are genuine. Authorities across the globe have ramped up efforts to clamp down on counterfeits in recent years. In 2013 the UN launched a campaign to educate tourists about the dangers counterfeits. The campaign aims to raise awareness about fake goods and to encourage travellers not to buy them. The initiative called ‘Your Actions Count – Be a Responsible Traveller’, is the product of three UN agencies – The World Tourism Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Remember – fakes are never in fashion!