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Clones, Compatibles, Counterfeits and You

Back 25 / 10 / 2018 | (No Comments) |
Steve Weedon 17 November, 2018 at 9:53 am

Steve is an award winning CEO who has held senior management positions at various OEMs as well as Katun Corp and SCC. He was the original founder of The Recycler Magazine and of trade shows in Europe. He also established Static Control's Worldwide Subsidiaries and relocated to the US to become Executive Vice President.

We live in a world that is increasing fake. Fake products, fake news and fake people. Fake, is big business the world over. According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) imported “fake” products are valued at almost half-a-trillion dollars (US), with China being the biggest producer.

 

There was a time when tourists could simply amble through any Chinese market and spot “fake“ bargains at every turn: Louis Vuitton handbags, Rolex watches and Gucci sunglasses galore. But China is cleaning up and most of these markets are not as brazen with their fakes. A brisk walk down Hong Kong’s Nathan Road from the historic and you will be accosted numerous times to readily escort you to lock-up warehouses full of fake stuff: cheap fakes, good fakes and expensive fakes that look like the real thing. All the gold bits are wrapped up in tissue and plastic authentication cards look genuine.

It may seem like a harmless purchase that usually has one of two outcomes. Your wife will either offer herself to you for a whole week for buying her the Louis Vuitton she has always wanted (treating it as a new family heirloom to be passed on, locked away for use only on special occasions, and hidden thoughtfully and carefully from any burglar who sees her with it). Or, you will find out your wife is really Hercule Poirot and will tell it is a fake from the instant she unwraps it. In which case learn to tap dance quickly and say it was just a joke, it only cost $20 and she should give it to her best friend for her birthday. If you got the result you wanted, then enjoy the benefits it will bring you for a week and try not to worry about what happens when she decides sends it to Louis Vuitton to repair the zip that has malfunctioned.

It is one thing to know you are buying a fake for a bit of fun and another thing importing a container load to sell to unsuspecting consumers as originals. Every consumer gets hurt. Even Chinese consumers don’t like it. Take wine for example. Over the last decade China has become the world’s largest market for French Bordeaux fine wine. Counterfeiters wasted no time to make fake labels and exploit the opportunity. Many consumers have become seriously ill drinking the bottle contents. Now smart label and smart corks are battling the growing trade and Chinese consumers are demanding more action on the counterfeiters.

It is no wonder the consumer gets confused as do some armchair industry commentators. A “clone” is a new cartridge built to mimic the original in most, if not every, detail. Depending on where it is sold it can infringe trademark or intellectual patents owned by the OEM. If sold as an OEM it becomes a criminal offense and a counterfeit. In areas of the world where the OEM patent has not been registered the “clone” becomes a legitimate product when sold as an aftermarket product. If sold as an OEM original it remains being a criminal offence. “Compatibles” are new-builds designed to circumvent patent claims of the OEM. Now, non-infringing compatible cartridges are legitimately available and an alternative to remanufactured products with the advantage of the elimination of the empty collections costs that some have tried to control and manipulate before.

Even remanufactured products are subject to patent infringement concerns and numerous lawsuits. Recycling for reuse as the best form of recycling holds true. However, costs increase and consumers are always looking for cheaper solutions.

The bottom line is simple. You must only sell what legitimately can be sold in your region. Counterfeit imaging products are bad news and a criminal offense everywhere. Technology marches forward and more counterfeiters are being caught and doing jail time. Don’t be one of them!

We live in a world that is increasing fake. Fake products, fake news and fake people. Fake, is big business the world over. According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) imported “fake” products are valued at almost half-a-trillion dollars (US), with China being the biggest producer.

There was a time when tourists could simply amble through any Chinese market and spot “fake“ bargains at every turn: Louis Vuitton handbags, Rolex watches and Gucci sunglasses galore. But China is cleaning up and most of these markets are not as brazen with their fakes. A brisk walk down Hong Kong’s Nathan Road from the historic and you will be accosted numerous times to readily escort you to lock-up warehouses full of fake stuff: cheap fakes, good fakes and expensive fakes that look like the real thing. All the gold bits are wrapped up in tissue and plastic authentication cards look genuine.

It may seem like a harmless purchase that usually has one of two outcomes. Your wife will either offer herself to you for a whole week for buying her the Louis Vuitton she has always wanted (treating it as a new family heirloom to be passed on, locked away for use only on special occasions, and hidden thoughtfully and carefully from any burglar who sees her with it). Or, you will find out your wife is really Hercule Poirot and will tell it is a fake from the instant she unwraps it. In which case learn to tap dance quickly and say it was just a joke, it only cost $20 and she should give it to her best friend for her birthday. If you got the result you wanted, then enjoy the benefits it will bring you for a week and try not to worry about what happens when she decides sends it to Louis Vuitton to repair the zip that has malfunctioned.

It is one thing to know you are buying a fake for a bit of fun and another thing importing a container load to sell to unsuspecting consumers as originals. Every consumer gets hurt. Even Chinese consumers don’t like it. Take wine for example. Over the last decade China has become the world’s largest market for French Bordeaux fine wine. Counterfeiters wasted no time to make fake labels and exploit the opportunity. Many consumers have become seriously ill drinking the bottle contents. Now smart label and smart corks are battling the growing trade and Chinese consumers are demanding more action on the counterfeiters.

It is no wonder the consumer gets confused as do some armchair industry commentators. A “clone” is a new cartridge built to mimic the original in most, if not every, detail. Depending on where it is sold it can infringe trademark or intellectual patents owned by the OEM. If sold as an OEM it becomes a criminal offense and a counterfeit. In areas of the world where the OEM patent has not been registered the “clone” becomes a legitimate product when sold as an aftermarket product. If sold as an OEM original it remains being a criminal offence. “Compatibles” are new-builds designed to circumvent patent claims of the OEM. Now, non-infringing compatible cartridges are legitimately available and an alternative to remanufactured products with the advantage of the elimination of the empty collections costs that some have tried to control and manipulate before.

Even remanufactured products are subject to patent infringement concerns and numerous lawsuits. Recycling for reuse as the best form of recycling holds true. However, costs increase and consumers are always looking for cheaper solutions.

The bottom line is simple. You must only sell what legitimately can be sold in your region. Counterfeit imaging products are bad news and a criminal offense everywhere. Technology marches forward and more counterfeiters are being caught and doing jail time. Don’t be one of them!