Luxury Sector Amps Fight Against Fakes, Sparks Necessary Conversation


by: Rosie Dalton | 3 years ago | News

Image: Louis Vuitton bags are frequently copied style in counterfeit markets. Image source.

India might be a fast growing market for luxury fashion, but the prevalence of counterfeit and grey market goods is a serious impediment to this industry. Which was demonstrated in a 2014 study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India and KPMG, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm. This study found that most of the problematic products “belong to segments such as apparel, perfumes and accessories, which are usually lower ticket items and can easily be placed in grey market channels.” And not only do these counterfeits affect growth in the luxury sector, they also reinforce our current obsession with cheaply made products with little social or environmental regard.

According to The Fashion Law, tackling this problem is really two-fold. On the one hand, “awareness and collaboration between brand owners and local authorities is essential.” This makes the courts in India the first port of call for the proprietors of luxury brands and owners of trademarks, in the search for protection against infringement. And these courts are reportedly gaining more expertise and confidence in dealing with these sorts of cases all the time.

Reasonably successful lawsuits like Hermès v. Da Milano and Christian Louboutin v. Nakul Bajaj & Ors demonstrate that, although these systems aren’t yet perfect, we are getting closer to being able to offer protection to brands for their original designs. As The Fashion Law points out, “the well-known status of some luxury marks, and considering the potential for loss to the proprietors of those marks, the courts in India are beginning to develop a robust intellectual property jurisprudence, slowly dispelling a long-held image of India as a welcome home for counterfeit goods.”

But as these courts become increasingly better at protecting well-known marks, we also need to seethe need for proprietors of luxury marks to become more vigilant to counterfeits, as well as to the unauthorised trade of their goods. “Indeed, the proprietors of well-known marks must be well served on the need to actively defend their intellectual property rights, particularly in order to maintain their competitive advantage in crowded sectors,” says The Fashion Law. And if we can streamline processes on both sides of this fight, we might hopefully begin to see a waning prevalence of luxury counterfeits — bringing with it a shifting consumer mindset from cheap is king, to quality is king.  

Via The Fashion Law

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