Readers might be familiar with this blog’s position on intellectual property. Although we indirectly encourage the re-use of registered designs that have fallen into public domain, we strongly dissaprove of infringements of existing and alive intellectual property.
A lengthy article in French explains how the brands, who claim to be victims of counterfeiting, have somehow contributed to the phenomenon: when advertising becomes focused on image in place of substance, it is not surprising to see the consumer turning towards counterfeit goods that look like the original.
The FHS (Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry) is actively fighting against counterfeiting through lobbying and advertising campaigns, but quite pointlessly in our opinion. Unless brands start to focuse on substance, counterfeiting will keep on coming back from its ashes like the fictional creature Sammael in Hellboy.
Recently though, the FHS came up with a better idea: to fight fire with fire. They created a fake replica Web store, where the visitor is offered a wide selection of replicas, but each link actually leads to a page of reprimands.
This is a clever way of raising awareness on the problems of counterfeiting, but the FHS hits a wrong note though when it tries to link counterfeiting to organised crime. According to British expert David S. Wall, that connection has yet to be substantiated and remains wishful thinking.