Knockoff Report™ #550

Converse Sues 31 Companies Over Alleged Chuck Taylor Knockoff Sneakers - Knockoff Report™ #550Converse Sues 31 Companies Over Alleged Chuck Taylor Knockoff Sneakers

Chinese PM Says Intellectual Property Rights Must be Protected

Former Los Angeles-area Businessman Sentenced to Over 7 Years in Prison for Selling Knock-off Batteries to Navy for Use on Warships

DARPA Technology Uncovers Counterfeit Microchips

Canada’s Combating Counterfeit Products Act Passes Latest Hurdle

Cartier Launches Legal Attempt to Block Websites Selling Counterfeit Goods

Senator Calls for Tougher Regs on Counterfeit Prom Dresses

Sunrise Man Arrested After Deputies Find Card-counterfeiting Device

Counterfeit Viagra Traffickers Thrive in Jongno

Counterfeit Merchandise Seized from South Bend Store

Local 4 Defenders Expose Counterfeit Makeup in Detroit

Counterfeit Wristbands Being Sold for ACL; What to Watch Out For

Four Hackers Pinned for Stealing $100 Million Intellectual Property From U.S. Army, Tech Firms

Craigslist Seller Arrested, Accused of Selling Counterfeit Concert Tickets

Southall Trader Jailed for Selling Counterfeit Bollywood DVDs - Knockoff Report™ #550Southall Trader Jailed for Selling Counterfeit Bollywood DVDs

Pagedale Flea Market Linked to Counterfeit Goods Will Close Next Month

Help! A Fake Version of my Restaurant Opened in China.

Excise Police Seize $500,000 in Knockoffs from Liberty Bell Flea Market

1.2 Million Counterfeit Goods, 130 Million Cigarettes Seized In EU-led Operation

Operation REPLICA Stops Knockoffs From Reaching EU

Houston Man Charged with Trafficking Counterfeit Beats by Dr. Dre

Canadian Man Shipped Knockoff, Flame-shooting Airbags from Blaine

Counterfeit Xbox One Makers Charged in US and Australia

CBP Seizes Counterfeit Handbags en Route to Houston Store

Here’s How Much Italy Spends On Counterfeit Goods

 

Knockoff Report™ #547

Up to 190 Years In Prison for Counterfeit Philly Sports Jerseys - Knockoff Report™ #547Up to 190 Years In Prison for Counterfeit Philly Sports Jerseys

Counterfeit Goods Smuggling Ring Dismantled By FBI

How the Red Baron’s Knockoff Aircraft Became the First Great Warplane

China’s Newest Knockoff Predator Drone Takes to the Skies

Counterfeit Luke Bryan Concert Tickets Prompt Arrests

Alibaba’s IPO May Open Floodgates to Counterfeit Products

Man Accused of Selling Counterfeit Tickets to Jason Aldean SPAC Show in NY

Two Charged in PA with Producing Counterfeit Cards

Segway Owner Claims Chinese Knockoffs Roaming U.S. Streets

Mobile, LA Man Busted With More Than 200 Counterfeit Items

Beware of Knockoffs in App Stores

New Rochelle NY Man Sold Knockoff Bags, Yanks Caps, Cops Say

President Obama Nominates Danny Marti As New ‘Piracy Czar’ - Knockoff Report™ #547President Obama Nominates Danny Marti As New ‘Piracy Czar’

Hadley, MA Police Seize Nearly 500 Counterfeit DVDs from Flea Market

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Import Specialists and Officers Seize Counterfeit Tablets Valued at $1.1 Million

Boardwalk Shop Busted for Counterfeit Goods

Swiss Combat Counterfeit Cheese With DNA Fingerprinting

Police Seize Counterfeit Goods Worth £1m in North Manchester raids

Police Find Drugs and Counterfeit Shoes in Speeding Ute (NSW)

Nespresso Settles With French Regulator on Knockoff Capsules

LVMH Ends Legal Spat With Google Over Counterfeit Search

Dubai Warehouse Raids Net Over 1m Counterfeit Drugs, Cosmetics

Ireland Pair Arrested in Ballymena in Counterfeit Car Products Inquiry

Some Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) Vendors Told to Cease and Desist with Counterfeit Goods

Counterfeit Cosmetics, Weight-Loss Drugs Seized in Dubai

Even Some Prisoners are Chinese Knockoffs

Even Some Prisoners are Chinese Knockoffs

Actual factory we busted in Guangzhou

Throughout the years in the anti-counterfeiting business there have been a few times where we, and our clients, have lauded our victories when a raid was accomplished on a factory making Chinese knockoffs.  Once, I remember, back in 2006 our client’s attorney actually saw thirteen people in handcuffs.  Chinese nationals, in China.  In cuffs for making fakes.  Not bad for a case that started with some handbags sold by a Purse Queen in Missouri!  Every time I tell that story, I finish it with the punchline that “I’m sure the cuffs came right off when my client boarded the plane.”  I’m not faulting China and that really isn’t my point here.  But the disconnect between cultures is.  There is obviously a totally different meaning of ‘authenticity’ when you cross oceans.  You may recall the incident during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games when the seven year-old vocalist who was commissioned to sing ‘Ode to the Motherland’ was replaced by a prettier lip synching faker.  A recent Slate article reports on a whole new kind of counterfeiting: fake prisoners.  No kidding, guys.  People who are facing jail time in China can hire a less-fortunate guy to confess, or just replace him in the can.  This brings me to a whole new thought on the counterfeit enforcement business.  While diplomacy with China is important in the fight against counterfeit goods, raiding their factories and jailing their owners is probably not effective.

Even Some Prisoners are Chinese Knockoffs

Broken windows theory (courtesy of Wikipedia)

The  most important facet of my solution is to curtail the demand in the United States and other countries with a massive consumer base.  The way to do that is to enforce against all sellers of this product in those countries.  Contrary to the spirit voice in Field of Dreams, wise businessmen will tell you that supply does not dictate demand.  Stop promising your client you’re gonna get the “big factory” and focus on stopping the mid-level distributors here.  I promise your performance numbers will increase and, most important, you will help restore value and dignity to the client’s brand.  I know from great experience that many people who became huge sellers of counterfeit goods here in the United States would have stopped if they had just worn a pair of handcuffs early on.  One night in jail works wonders on the soul.  Enforcing the smaller crimes is part of the plan that makes many of our inner cities safer.  Curtailing vandalism in your neighborhood leads to less violence down the line.  In tough economic times it is easy to cut costs and focus on the biggest problems.  The problem with the latter is that no big problem started that way.  My suggestion to my readers is to simply place most of your efforts on the cities and countries with the highest retail sales of genuine product.  I’m not talking about the people selling fakes at swap meets or in the bad neighborhoods.  I’m speaking of the mid-level distributors who are getting their product directly from China and supplying those folks.

Now I’m going to finish my coffee.

Anatomy of an Idiot or: The Case of the Counterfeit Judge

Doh!

Image via Wikipedia

As I regularly search for shows on my TiVo using keywords that relate to my interests and work, I ran across a rerun of ‘Swift Justice with Nancy Grace‘ that originally aired on 2/28/11 entitled “An online rip-off; pit bull puppies”.  This was caught in my filter because the word ‘knockoff’ was in the show’s description.  In this episode, the first case was of a woman who had purchased a pair of Coach boots from a website buymerchant.com.  Upon receipt of the boots, the Plaintiff stated that she believed they were counterfeit and was entitled to a refund of $174 USD.  Whether the goods in this case were actually counterfeit is actually not even relevant to what I’m about to share.  What followed was some of the most irresponsible judiciary-slash-journalistic behavior I have ever seen.

Grace first examines the boots saying, “If these are fake, I’ll buy ‘em!  I’m all about fakes!”  She then hollers backstage, “Hey, bring me out my my ‘Frauda’!”  She giggled and looked back at the camera explaining, “My fake Prada.  I love it.”  As she brings the conversation back to the case on hand, she turns to the Plaintiff and uttered in a snarky drawl, “So… you don’t like fakes?”

After picking up my jaw from the atop my Birkenstock I witness Grace call in her ‘expert’  to authenticate the boots.  This guy’s qualifications were that he was a former employee at a Coach store.  Wait, it gets better.  As he makes his unconvincing case, Grace barks again and looks offstage, “Hey, bring me back my fake!”  Then she asks her expert to authenticate her ‘Frauda’.  He explains to her that it is counterfeit and that a real handbag of this type is of higher quality and would retail for about $1,500 USD.  Then Grace starts howling like a preacher with a bellyache with, “Fifteen… hundred… dollars?!?!?!  Do you know how long I’ve had this thing?  Five years.  That’s a good quality bag!”  Just as I did, you are probably asking if this idiot actually admitted to purchasing illegal goods, defend it and then promote the behavior from her bench on national television.  Yes.  She did.  You can witness an excerpt of the event for yourself by clicking this link here: http://www.swiftjustice.com/case_files/2011-02-28

While much of the civilized world is trying to discourage this type of contraband activity, we have a nitwit like this adjudicating cases with her own television show, and doling out legal advice on CNN.  While Nancy Grace is hosting ‘Swift Justice’, what she really needs is a swift kick in the rear end.