Happening in Brand Protection - February 2018

Yellow Brand Protection January news

Clever gimmick or undermining Brand Protection efforts?

Diesel’s ‘Go with the flaw’ campaign, in which they set up a pop-up store in New York selling “authentic” misspelt ‘Deisel’ logo merchandise at knock-off sums, certainly got the attention it probably desired.

The statements issued by the Diesel founder and president of OTB Group Renzo Rosso appeared to give mixed messages about what exactly the campaign really was about. In an interview with Vogue, Rosso stated the venture was aimed at “encouraging fans to feel free to wear whatever they want ” and was “a bit of a joke to show the brand didn’t take itself too seriously”. However, he also stated that “We have so many counterfeit products all over the world I thought, ‘Why can’t we play with this problem that we have?’ We created a fake product, a fake name, and we came to the counterfeit district.”

With more than a million counterfeit Diesel products believed to be sold globally each year, it has been questioned whether this really was an ‘if you can’t beat them, then join them’ initiative or one that undermines the efforts taken by other brands and companies to protect their IP Rights.

Rosso, however, also add “We will keep fighting to protect our brand by implementing state-of-the-art technologies, we cannot have any tolerance for fraudsters – on and offline, and just to be clear: we trademarked DEISEL.” You can read the full article in the February issue of British Vogue.

China opens luxury brand appraisal centre

With the government proposing a goal of effectively curbing the momentum of intellectual property infringements and counterfeiting by 2020, China appears to have taken some steps towards tackling fake luxury goods with the establishment of an official luxury brand appraisal centre.

Based in Beijing, the centre, through the China Electronic Commerce Association, will evaluate products to determine authenticity, and have some oversight for the effective sale of luxury goods on online platforms.

Using an online portal, consumers can check whether sellers of luxury goods are an actual certified business, as well as checking an appraiser’s qualifications. It sounds promising, but will it be effective? More can be found on this at jingdaily.

UK VAT fraud scheme hopes to stamp out online counterfeits

On the 1st April, the UK government’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme (FHDDS) comes into force. The scheme, which is aimed at cracking down on value-added tax (VAT) fraud, also hopes to create an added bonus of deterring those who use e-commerce sites to sell counterfeit goods.

The new legislation is targeted at fulfilment houses, and any company providing warehousing and distribution for goods imported from a non-EU business for sale in the UK. These businesses need to register for the scheme and ensure that its clients are VAT registered.

Coinciding with the UK exiting the EU, it will supposedly allay fears that this will strip the UK of quality standards and protection against counterfeit goods. The scheme hopes to address criticism that the UK government needs to do more to tackle illicit sales, by increasing the pressure on online marketplaces to do more in tackling the sale of fake goods. It will be interesting to hear how the scheme is going later in the year.