Counterfeit business costs legitimate UK businesses 10 billion pounds a year with an estimated 9 billion pounds smuggled by the counterfeit gangs.
Latest figures reveal that counterfeit crime is the fastest growing crime in the UK.
In recent years, Louis Vuitton fined Ebay 15 million pounds for Ebay’s actions of allowing fraudsters to sell his designer bags.
Louis Vuitton claims that although Ebay were aware that a fraudster was exploiting him as a designer, they acted unreasonably by failing to take any action to close his site.
The Vuitton court case resulted in the new trend for designers to employ teams of fashion police (including H&M) to monitor the Ebay site to search for counterfeit clothing and close these sites.
Fighting back against counterfeit clothing !
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACA)
The proposed new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACA) is a plurilateral trade agreement due to be globally implemented to reduce Intellectual Property Crimes.
Under Intellectural Property laws if another company or individual steals an idea or designer’s seasonal collection without obtaining a licence, they’re guilty of stealing. The introduction of the ACA will introduce tougher new laws.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement-proposed new powers
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement’s proposed new powers will allow authorities to ‘swoop in and seize goods and impose prison sentences and heavy fines on the fraudsters’.
According to a Watchdog report, “seizures of counterfeit goods on the continent more than doubled in 2008, with customs authorities seizing 178 million fake items - mostly imported from China.”
The Watchdog report also reveals that, “to combat crime in European countries, police are taking steps to criminalise purchasers of fake products.”
The bad news is that if you purchase fake designer goods abroad, you could riska fine of300,000 euro (£260,000) or three years in jail, just for bagging a bargain!
Although UK authorities don’t have any immediate plans to ‘criminalise’ purchasers of fake products, they’re planning campaigns to raise awareness that purchasing fake designer products (known to be fakes) amounts to criminal behaviour. They’re also raising awareness that traders at car boot sales selling large consignments of designer teeshirts may have links to gangs of hardened criminals.
Guide to ethical designer clothes shopping
1.Shop on reputable shopping sites
Set yourself new standards by only shopping on reputable shopping sites and refuse to tolerate companies who exploit child labour.
2. Check the origins of your product
Many overseas mass produced products who make ‘false claims’ and claim they’re selling you a designer product maybe linked to organised criminal gangs responsible for exploiting child labour. Always check the origins of your product and support British business.
3. Check your Labels
Sometimes its impossible to tell whether you’ve purchased a designer product like a mens designer wear or a womens designer wear. Some designers have started to sew in holograms and use ultra-violet stitching in their garments and labels. Also, you can often spot a fake label because it may look crumpled with space between the letters of the logo. Authentic Lacoste teeshirt logo’s contain a crocodile embossed on the right!