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These Are The Bravest Fakes Of The Year

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These Are The Bravest Fakes Of The Year
These Are The Bravest Fakes Of The Year

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The “Plagiarius” negative prize, launched by designer Prof. Rido Busse, was awarded for the 41st time on February 10, 2017 at the “Ambiente” consumer goods fair in Frankfurt. Since 1977, Aktion Plagiarius eV has been awarding the Schmäh Prize to manufacturers and retailers, particularly brazen plagiarisms and counterfeits.

The association wants to raise awareness of the unfair and sometimes criminal business practices of product and brand pirates from all over the world in order to sensitize industry, politics and consumers to the problem. Trophy is a black dwarf with a golden nose, symbolizing the exorbitant profits that copycats make at the expense of others.

This year's “winners” of the plagiarism

Picture gallery

Photo gallery with 11 pictures

Globalization, digital communication, the Internet and gullible bargain hunters - these are the main drivers for the explosive spread of product and brand piracy. Plagiarism and counterfeiting are neither a compliment nor a trivial offense. It is a lucrative business model for counterfeiters. The damage to the original manufacturers and the security risks for consumers, however, are enormous. But as long as there is demand for copied goods, this will be served. Practical consumer education is important.

For this reason, the Plagiarius campaign has awarded the prize to around 400 products to date. Products from a wide range of industries, including household goods, sanitary products, tools, furniture, children's toys, technical products and devices such as non-functioning emergency respirators, car rims, chainsaws and mopeds, were awarded prizes. The prize is now having an effect: Every year the campaign informs the alleged plagiarists of their nomination and thus gives them the chance to react to it. Over the years, according to the organizers, many imitators have taken the plagiarism off the market or agreed with the original manufacturer.

Counterfeiting

Negative price "Plagiarius" awards particularly brazen counterfeits

Law vs. morality: Plagiarius does not want to speak any law

The award should not say anything about whether the respective counterfeit product is legally permitted or unlawful. That depends on many factors such as registered industrial property rights for the original product or unfair competitive behavior on the part of the imitator. The action cannot and does not want to speak any law. However, it may draw attention to the damage suffered by companies and the risks to consumers. And she can express the opinion that clumsy 1: 1 plagiarisms are unimaginative and morally reprehensible and lead to a standstill. The Aktion Plagiarius emphasizes that legal competitive products - which follow a trend, but differ optically and technically sufficiently from the original - do not have to fear an award with the "Plagiarius", but are expressly desired because they stimulate fair competition.

Additional information on the topic The jury of the Plagiarius competition 2017:

Every year the jury is composed of representatives from a wide range of areas. The jury of the Plagiarius competition 2017 was composed as follows:

  • Ulrike Adorf, Senior Clerk React Germany, Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Düren
  • Martin Bendel, Mayor of the City of Ulm
  • Carin Benter, Managing Director Daff GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf
  • Ingrid Bichelmeir-Böhn, Head of Global Brand Protection, Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, Herzogenaurach
  • Cornelia Dollacker, Head of Hessen Design eV, Darmstadt
  • Mario Hehle, Head of Scouting & Venturing / Technology & Innovation, Linde AG, Linde Gases Division, Pullach
  • Dr. Oliver Schön, judge at the Munich Regional Court, 7th Civil Chamber
  • Karin Strübing, Managing Director Karin Strübing interior design, Ulm
  • Jan F. Timme, Senior Partner Black IP GmbH, Insheim

What once began as amateur copy attempts in backyard workshops has developed into a globally networked and professional counterfeiting industry in times of internet and globalization. The manifestations of product and brand piracy are very diverse: from counterfeiting, counterfeit design and technology theft to pirated copies. In the case of plagiarism, the copycat copies the design or technology of a successful product and then sells it under his own name. In the case of counterfeiting, the copycat also takes on the brand name of the original manufacturer. Counterfeit goods are now available in all price and quality levels, from dangerous cheap counterfeits to high-quality counterfeits, which are hardly cheaper than the original product.

Consumers need to be educated

The internet and digital communication are currently primarily responsible for the rapid increase in product and brand piracy. Although international police authorities successfully close tens of thousands of websites every year for trading in counterfeit products, the range of unlawful brand and design products remains high. Usually the fraudsters continue their business within a very short time under a new company and domain name. And it is precisely this convenient round-the-clock availability of large quantities of alleged branded products at a ridiculously low price that tempt you to buy. Customers are deceived, among other things, with photos of the original products as well as fake customer reviews and quality seals. Experts from the consumer advice centers warn, for examplein the case of noticeably incorrect texts and in particular in the case of "advance payment" as the only payment option before the purchase is concluded. The experience of cheated buyers shows that it is generally not possible to reverse the business with dubious providers.

Plagiarism

Negative price "Plagiarius" brings brazen forgeries into the public consciousness

More and more counterfeits come from Europe

According to the EU Commission, in 2015 alone the EU customs authorities confiscated more than 40 million infringing products worth over 650 million euros at the EU's external borders - an increase of 15% compared to 2014. The majority of the detained goods came from China and in 2015 as well Hong Kong. But there have been more and more European companies among the nominees for the negative price for years. The imitators are increasingly former production or sales partners. For the best possible defense against product and brand piracy, the campaign recommends that companies rely on a holistic strategy consisting of legal, organizational and technical measures.

The Museum Plagiarius presents the collection of Plagiarius winners from 1977 to the present day. The exhibition includes more than 350 products from a wide range of industries and shows original and plagiarism in direct comparison. Counterfeit goods seized by customs complete the collection. (kj)

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