Stop Counterfeiting in its Tracks
If you’ve ever purchased a knock-off—like a watch or purse—you know they can be quite convincing. Some are so accurate, you’re convinced you have an original. So, how did counterfeiting become so, well, good? And did you know there is a legal difference between knock-offs and counterfeits?
Typically, the term “counterfeiting” invokes an image of a ready-to-sell, fake product. Seldom does a discussion on counterfeiting include the observable signs of “pre-counterfeiting” activity and how to prevent the fabrication of a fake item before it occurs. Cloning a product requires knowledge of several basic components including, the product make-up, what it looks like, and how it is created. This includes the manufacturing process, the materials used in making the product, the distribution channels, the retail markets and price points. Counterfeiters will seek opportunities to obtain valuable information to assist them in creating a counterfeit product: A product intended to devalue your business assets.
Certain types of business activities or incidents might appear to be random or coincidental events. However, upon closer evaluation, they may be one part of an elaborate counterfeiting scheme. Some known examples regarding how counterfeiters infiltrated a business to create knock-off products include:
- Machinery and Materials
- Manufacturing and Distribution Chains
- Point of Sale
- Damage Control
- Asset protection
While there are many legal options for stopping the production of knock-off products, claims for counterfeiting can only be brought if the claimant owns a federal trademark registration. Therefore, a company’s business plan to combat counterfeiting should include a discussion with a lawyer about the possibility of federal trademark protection.