‘Notorious’ Counterfeit Goods Awards

Authors: Mykolas Jakutis, attorney-at-law assistant at METIDA, Erikas Saukalas, associate partner, attorney-at-law, the Head of International Relations Division at METIDA

On February 7, 2014 the annual Ambiente (the world’s largest consumer good’s trade fair) announced the negative awards ‘Plagiarius’ in Frankfurt. Every year since 1977 Aktion Plagiarius e.V.  has been hosting the contest by rewarding the ‘notorious‘ manufacturers and distributors of industrial counterfeit products.

The goal of these negative Awards is to shame unfair traders who present others’ intellectual property objects as their own creation. The organizers of the Awards aim to raise public awareness on the problems related to counterfeit goods among producers, consumers and politicians. The ‘winners‘ of the Awards are given a trophy of black gnome with a golden nose, which was designed to express a German aphorism „to earn oneself a golden nose“, which means to greatly profit in an obscure way. However, it is obvious that most of the ‘winners‘ do not collect their prize.

Product counterfeiting is a huge headache for the proprietors of intellectual property objects. For instance, more than 10% of goods in global trade are counterfeit, and in one year the global economy loses 200-300 billion dollars. In 2012 the customs officials seized and destroyed almost 40 million counterfeit goods with a total value of 40 million euros at the EU countries’ borders. About 72% of detained goods originated from China and Hong Kong. The United Arab Emirates (8.37 percent), Turkey and various Eastern European states are also in the top ten countries.

Almost all trade sectors- from consumer goods and toys to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, from auto parts, machinery and to various equipment- face counterfeiting. The largest mean of distributing counterfeit goods is an online marketing, where distinguishing genuine items from fakes requires much effort and the customers lured in with low prices are often disappointed with poor quality goods. The Ambiente trade fair give trademark proprietors an opportunity to introduce the consumers with the quality of their original goods as well as to explain how to differentiate between their original goods and the counterfeit products.

The main three winners of Plagiarus 2014 are as follows:

1st place: therapy device ZWave, designed for aesthetic medical procedures

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 23.26.13

  • The original product’s proprietor: Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH, Neu-Ulm, Germany
  • Plagiarist: Shenzhen PRT Import Export Co., Ltd., PR China

2nd place: high pressure washer HD 6/15 C

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 23.36.02

  • The original product’s proprietor: Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG, Winnenden, Germany
  • Plagiarist: Wenzhou Haibao Co., Ltd., PR China

3rd place: cloth holder Sprintus Magic Click

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 23.25.27

  • The original product’s proprietor: SPRiNTUS GmbH, Weissach, Germany
  • Plagiarist: Otto Oehme GmbH, Allersberg, Germany
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