Category Archives: Blogs

SOUTH KOREA’S “COUNTERFEIT STREET CULTURE”

South Korea has a reputation as a leading counterfeiting country along with China in Asia. In 2012, South Korea confiscated 57,005 counterfeit goods domestically, up from 5,363 in 2006.

The market for fakes in Korea is driven by a ‘counterfeit street culture’—a fake fashion world where hard to find designer brands are counterfeited and sold on the street corners. It’s a real ‘in thing’ in Seoul, the 5th wealthiest city in the world, which is emerging as a fashion capital in Asia. Seoul is young and tech savvy. K Pop is a South Korean style of pop music that incorporates many different music styles including Latin, hip-hop and traditional Korean.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BALbGfjjsbc

Workship Presentation in Atlantic City at NJAC (5/10)

I will be giving a Workshop Presentation [“The Business Crime of the 21st Century”]in Atlantic City at the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) On Thursday, May 10th.

NJAC members are elected officials: County Clerks, Sheriffs, Surrogates and their guests.

Governor Phil Murphy will be a keynote speaker.

$400 Million in Fake Brands Seized in Kingston

A raid by Jamaican police on two stores in downtown Kingston that were operated by six Chinese nationals, five men and a woman, who were taken into custody for selling counterfeit apparel, included well-known brands like Adidas, Nike,and Louis Vuitton, worth an estimated $400 million.

Seizures of counterfeit goods are on the rise in Jamaica. So far $600 million in counterfeit goods have been seized in April alone. Last year, the Jamaican Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) Branch seized $1.9 billion worth of fake goods.

Counterfeit Makeup Had Bacteria and Human and Animal Feces

LAPD recently raided 21 businesses and seized an estimated $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics. Six of the owners were arrested while the rest received cease-and-desist orders. An analysis showed the fakes had bacteria and human and animal feces.
The bust in Santee Alley netted makeup similar to such popular brands as Urban Decay, NARS, MAC, Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner, and others. The products look almost identical to high-quality eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara but, authorities say, their prices should have raised eyebrows. Police were tipped off after consumers complained of skin rashes.

Will the 2018 Special 301 Report result in $30 Billion in Trade Sanctions against China?

It’s possible . . .

In Friday’s Wall Street Journal (3/16 page A6) there’s an article that quotes a White House official and other sources that hint that $30 billion in tariffs and trade sanctions may be imposed on Chinese imports in an effort to end Chinese requirements that U.S. companies doing business transfer technology to Chinese firms. [China has been long been cited as a notorious pirate of trade secrets.]
This article followed an interview on Sunday’s Fox Business Network with Trade Council Director Peter Navarro [sometimes referred to as the ‘trade czar’] who said action on China’s intellectual property theft would come soon. He referenced a plan the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will be releasing shortly to address the issue head on.

What could trigger everything is the Special 301 Report that is expected to be released by the USTR. This is published in late February or March and it is prepared by reports submitted by U.S. business concerning problems involving intellectual property. It should be published the last week in March and would likely trigger the Section 301 investigation that was initiated by the USTR August, 2017, especially if China is identified as a Priority Foreign Country List. A list of tariffs and trade sanctions would be drawn up to be imposed if China does not meet U.S. demands. China would retaliate with a list of its own and the result would be a trade war similar to what happened in 1994.

Will history repeat itself?

I wrote a chapter on the 1994-1996 trade dispute with China in my book Trademark Counterfeiting, Product Piracy, and the Billion Dollar Threat to the U.S. Economy (1999, 2001 Praeger). It’s a great resource to read if a trade war erupts between the U.S. and China

Rise in Counterfeit Xanax

Counterfeit Xanax, often laced with fentanyl, is becoming a huge problem in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
The counterfeits are sold as a recreational drug on the streets and over the Internet after being interlaced with the powerful opiod fentanyl. Xanax, a minor tranquilizer used to treat anxiety disorders, is one of most prescribed medicines in the United States. However, Xanax is rarely prescribed in the United Kingdom—but its recreational use has made it a growing threat (see video). It is also a growing problem with students in the United States who use the drug for recreational purposes.

On the street, counterfeit Xanax goes by several names: Xanies, zany bars, footballs, Christmas trees, and blue devils.

Christian Louboutin’s red sole trademark could be invalid


At the center of the legal argument is whether or not “shape” includes color. If it does, Christian Louboutin well known red sole trademark can be ruled invalid.
The French designer, Louboutin, is currently in a court battle in the Netherlands to stop the Dutch chain, Van Haren, from selling copycat cat versions of his shoes. The case dates back to 2012 when Van Haren introduced a new line which included high-heeled shoes with red soles.
Louboutin argued that the shoes infringed his brand’s trademark. The District Court in The Hague agreed and ordered Van Haren to stop producing its black and blue shoes with red soles. But Van Haren appealed against that decision and in 2014 the case was referred to the ECJ for “clarification”.
Last week the Court’s advocate general, Maciej Szpunar, said that the color red could not be considered apart from the shape of the sole, with shapes not usually protected under EU trade mark law. Such an opinion is likely to be highly influential on judges’ decision, which has yet to be made.

Video on the Counterfeiting Problem

Counterfeiting is a massive problem that ranges from high end goods to low-end products; Manila Chan and Bart Chilton discuss this global threat with Lara Miller from the IACC. GE could be broken up as it struggles with money problems; Ashlee Banks has the details. Jeffrey Tucker talks Bitcoin and Natasha Sweatte talks about the economic impact of mudslides.
[The IACC report starts about 5 minutes into the video]