If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them! Novel Ways That Brand Owners Are Combatting Counterfeiters


By Rachel Pearse

Diesel have adopted an interesting counterfeit strategy by opening a pop-up store in New York selling "authentic" rip-offs under the brand "Deisel".

Diesel founder Renzo Rosso told AFP "We have so many counterfeit products all over the world I thought, why can't we play with this problem that we have?". It has also been reported that Renzo Rosso believes that more than a million counterfeit Diesel goods are sold annually all around the world.

With a counterfeit problem of this magnitude, perhaps brand owners will now make life far more challenging for manufacturers and retailers of counterfeit products as they start to compete with them directly for a share of the counterfeit market on their own turf (e.g. market stalls and places where counterfeit goods are rife).

Many brand owners are also seeing the benefits of registering knock-off brands as trade marks, not only in preparation to use against third parties who infringe their trade marks but also to use themselves for their own range of 'counterfeit' goods. Renzo Rosso confirmed that they have already protected the mark "DEISEL" with a trade mark registration.

Even if this may not work as a long term solution (or solely without other anti-counterfeiting strategies in place involving Customs, Trading Standards and civil legal action), at the very least, this novel anti-counterfeiting strategy has certainly helped to put the issue into the spotlight.

Instead, the Breganze, Italy-based brand is opting for a temporary pop up shop during New York Fashion Week. But instead of an over-the-top foray in Soho, complete with a star-studded opening party, Diesel is doing things differently. It is masquerading as a counterfeit seller on Canal Street.

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