Knockoff Report™ #576: Gambling, Drugs and Other Fun Things

Aladdin's magic brass oil lamp isolated on whiteWhy Alibaba’s Massive Counterfeit Problem Will Never Be Solved

Man Who Brought Fake Chips to Atlantic City Poker Tournament Gets Prison

Feds Raid Counterfeit Shop in Downtown Los Angeles

Judge ‘Troubled’ By His Own Ruling in Amazon Counterfeit Goods Case, Says it’s an Issue for Congress to Address

Tens of Thousands of Counterfeit Wheels Made in China are on Australian Roads, Experts Warn

Two Santa Cruz County Men Die From Counterfeit Xanax

Santa Cruz Police Arrest Man Involved in Deadly Counterfeit Xanax Case

30,000 Counterfeit Designer Goods Seized in Abu Dhabi Flats

Alibaba’s Global Ambitions Face Counterfeit Challenge

Indian Convicted for Selling Counterfeit Cigarettes in US

Toyota Has Issued a Warning About Thousands of Counterfeit Brake Pads Containing Deadly Asbestos

China to Enhance Crackdown on Infringement, Counterfeit on Internet

Fakers Gonna Fake: Counterfeit Goods Threaten Alibaba’s Rise Abroad

UGG Turns Up The Heat On Counterfeit Protection

Boost to War on Counterfeit Drugs in Kenya as Agency Acquires Instant Testing Equipment

Dorset Trader Prosecuted for Selling Counterfeit Goods at Car Boot Sale

Virginia Man Caught With Counterfeit Designer Bags, Watches in Jersey City

Mount Prospect Man Admits Selling Counterfeit Sports Items

Fighting Counterfeit Goods Passing Through the Panama Canal

Counterfeit Asbestos Brake Pads Recalled

Two Busted for Selling Counterfeit Football Tickets

China Moves to Crack Down on Counterfeit Disney Products

Mercedes-Benz/Holden Counterfeit Wheel Pothole Test Cracking

Knockoff Report™ #575

Alibaba Is Lobbying To Stay Off U.S. Blacklist For Selling Counterfeit Goods - Knockoff Report™ #575Alibaba Is Lobbying To Stay Off U.S. Blacklist For Selling Counterfeit Goods

How To Protect Against Counterfeiting: Register Your China Trademark With China Customs

Why Sneakerheads Are Buying Counterfeit Kicks

Wikileaks Release of TPP Deal Text Stokes ‘Freedom of Expression’ Fears

Your Fake Fendi Has a Human Cost: Indentured Servants Fuel Italy’s Knockoff Luxury Goods Market

eBay Seller Jailed for Trading £220,000 Worth of Counterfeit T-Shirts Over Six Years

Sip On This: That $10,000 (Or $30) Bottle Of Wine Might Be Fake

Cubs Fans, Beware Counterfeit Tickets

Report: Internet Fuels Rapid Expansion Of Counterfeit Goods

Stella McCartney Sues Steve Madden for Knockoff Bag

Belstaff Will Recieve $42 Million from Over 600 Counterfeit Websites

Deputies Bust Counterfeit Goods Operation at Bonita Flea Market

Cops: Driver of Van Filled With Counterfeit Goods is Jailed

When is a Knockoff a Rip-off? An Atlanta Artist Finds the Answer With a Lawsuit

Counterfeit Clothes Lead to Felony Charges for Business Owner

ICE Highlights Dangers of Illegal Decorative Contact Lenses

A Chinese Company is Producing Tesla Knockoffs

Officers Raid Armagh ‘Store’ Containing Counterfeit Clothing and Jewellery

Phuket Raid Nets B4m in Counterfeit Goods

Methuen Man Sentenced in Counterfeit Parts Scheme

Federal Grant to Help NC Fighting Counterfeit Goods

How Counterfeit Parts Turn Your Car into a Frankencar After An Accident

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


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  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:

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.


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