OpSec Blog

 Insights on Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Solutions

Faux Real: What Luxury Brands Need to Know

Posted by Melissa Palardy on Jun 25, 2014 9:07:00 AM


Counterfeit goods are on the rise in the luxury market, and can quickly become a brand’s worst nightmare if not dealt with properly. Counterfeit goods cost the US economy $225 billion each year. In 2013 alone, the US Department of Homeland Security confiscated over $1 billion in counterfeit handbags, belts, and wallets. Counterfeiting is certainly a huge economic problem, but it is a major problem for brand integrity as well.

Alessandra Vercelloni, Director of Brand Protection at OpSec Security, works with some of the world’s best known luxury brands to help protect them from counterfeits and diversion. We sat down with Alessandra for a Q&A session about the counterfeit luxury industry, and what measures brands might take to help secure their products.

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Topics: Gray Market Diversion, Counterfeiting, Luxury Goods

Better Digital Solutions are Pushing the Boundaries for Brand Protection

Posted by Tom Taylor on Mar 10, 2014 2:59:00 PM


Have you noticed how pervasive electronics are in today’s automobiles?  Nearly every part that goes into a vehicle has a digital element as well as a mechanical one. Transmission, fuel line, and every other part of the engine and the cabin rely on digital innovation.  In fact, luxury cars are built with over 100 microprocessors. Digitalization allows car manufacturers to track a specific part to each car and to closely monitor performance and quality, one customer at a time. 

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Topics: Gray Market Diversion, Counterfeiting, Product Authentication, Automotive, Mobile Authentication, Brand Protection, Supply Chain Management

10 Warning Signs Your Brand is at Risk

Posted by Lorri Veidenheimer on Sep 25, 2013 5:10:00 AM

Drowning_CopyrightIt is difficult to determine the full scale of your brand’s loss of value due to counterfeiting and market diversions prior to undertaking a thorough security solution evaluation, but there are a number of indicators that can help you gauge your vulnerability.

Any one of these ten factors may be sufficient to indicate that you are at risk.

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Topics: Gray Market Diversion, Counterfeiting, Product Authentication, Online Brand Protection, Intellectual Property, Brand Protection

Commentary: Knocking Counterfeit Footwear from the Top of the List

Posted by Tom Taylor on Nov 3, 2010 7:17:00 AM

If we polled consumers on which counterfeit goods had the highest seizures in the United States, the likely response would be luxury handbags, apparel, or maybe electronics.  These items represent a significant number of counterfeit seizures. However, footwear topped the list of seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Control in 2009, with more than $99 million dollars in goods and 38% of all seizures.

A recent article in the Sunday section of The New York Times featured a counterfeit shoe factory in China and introduced us to some of the key players in the counterfeit shoe supply chain. Interestingly, we learned that counterfeiters can no longer rely on espionage or bribes to corral the latest product blueprint or model because the security in factories has been ramped up. Instead, counterfeiters have taken a simplified approach to production – they buy a pair of shoes and reverse engineer it as a knock-off, a tactic which has proven fruitful.

By far, the most salient development in the world of counterfeiting over the past years is that counterfeit products are now almost indistinguishable in quality to the legitimate goods. This means there is now a range of knock-off goods, from low to high end, which target different buyers and have fueled the growth of the counterfeiting business.

What consumers now see in the marketplace is a mix of genuine goods, knock-offs of differing quality, and grey market goods infiltrating the supply chain. Even as new legislative measures such as the ACTA trade agreement and the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) bill are in discussion, brand owners need to implement a brand protection strategy to secure their products and ensure consumers are offered authentic goods.

The most effective way for footwear brand owners to combat counterfeiting and product diversion is to deploy the following three-component strategy.

1) Protect Your Product – Best practice footwear and apparel companies apply a multi-layered solution to enable the authentication of fake versus real.

    • Authentication – A key requirement for product authentication is incorporating the security device as an integral component of the product during the manufacturing process. For maximum protection, the security device should be permanently affixed to garments and shoes to prevent attempts at removal.

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Topics: Gray Market Diversion, Counterfeiting, Fashion & Luxury, Brand Protection