Counterfeit products are not only illegal, they also endanger the safety and health of drivers and other road users. That is why Daimler declared war on product counterfeiters in 2020 and further increased its activities in the process. The main focus was on safety-relevant products such as counterfeit brake discs or wheels. Florian Adt, Head of Legal Product Intellectual Property: “In 2020 over 1,7 million counterfeit Daimler products were confiscated. We initiated and accompanied over 550 raids. That is a slight increase compared to the previous year - despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. ”Due to the global lockdown, numerous raids had to be postponed and many competent courts temporarily suspended their work.
Online counterfeit products
The product pirates often act with a high level of criminal energy and, according to a study by the trade association Unifab, often achieve higher margins than in the drug trade. In many cases, organized counterfeiters have their goods produced under inhumane conditions, regardless of environmental standards, occupational safety or human rights. For laypeople, counterfeit products can often hardly be distinguished visually from original parts, but their quality is usually inferior and they fall short of statutory minimum requirements. They therefore pose a significant risk to the health and safety of customers.
Due to Corona, online trading increased significantly in 2020. That made this distribution channel even more interesting for counterfeiters. Florian Adt: “We have adjusted our brand protection strategy and expanded the measures against counterfeiting in online retail. In total, we were able to remove 138.000 counterfeit products from online platforms. That is about three times as much as in the same period before the pandemic. "
The Intellectual Property Enforcement division is global and closely networked with the customs and law enforcement authorities. The brand protection strategy comprises the three pillars of "tracking down, attacking and preventing". The brand protectors check suspicious offers on online platforms or trade fairs around the world and can thus identify counterfeiters. Typical alarm signals are a conspicuously low price, anomalies in the product quality or sales from dubious online sources. The aim of the worldwide raids with local authorities are the large networks of counterfeiters and the smashing of their production and sales structures.
criminal proceedings or lawsuits
Further measures are criminal proceedings or actions for injunctive relief, information and compensation. Brand protectors also work closely with customs and police on prevention. In training courses and with information material, they raise awareness of the security risks and provide support in distinguishing between originals and forgeries. In this way, the team also makes a contribution to sustainability - not only in terms of safety, but also with a view to human rights and environmental protection.
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