Introduction - Counterfeit products and its impact
The word counterfeit means the forgeries of currency and documents but the trend is changing nowadays and the term extends to various imitations of clothing, electronics, software, pharmaceuticals, jeans, watches and company logos as well as brands have become common in the market. This leads to the infringement of the Patent registration or Trademark registration. Some specific goods for instance we take a very expensive brand those which are easy to produce at low cost are the direct targets of counterfeiting.
The main aim of the counterfeiters is either to deceive the consumer into thinking they are purchasing a luxury item, or to convince the consumer that they could deceive others with the product. In some of the cases the counterfeit products are produced in the same factory that produces the original and genuine product, using the same materials. In broad sense counterfeiting can be referred as piracy in the trade parlance which means the unlawful acquisition by a person over the property of another person without his consent.
As per recent reports, more than 70 percent counterfeited products originate in India and Indian metro cities have become a base for manufacturing counterfeit products and leading to maximum Intellectual property Rights violations.
The fake market or counterfeited market is growing at a rate of 44 percent per annum and has reached Rs 1.05 lakh crore in 2014, according to the report of the ‘Sell SMART’. Which has not only hampered the MAKE IN INDIA campaign but because of this India is now in one of the US’ `Priority Watch List’ of countries which is most exposed to the intellectual property rights violations. Counterfeiting has become a biggest challenge to the government and its direct impact can be felt through the loss of tax revenue faced by the government.
Skechers Vs Flipkart
The US based lifestyle and footwear company Skechers has filed cases against Flipkart, the E commerce giant and four sellers on the same platform for allegedly selling its product. But, nowadays these issues are growing exponentially after the rise of online markets in India.
The company has appointed commissioners with the help of the high court and also has raided seven or more warehouses in Delhi as well as Ahmedabad to recover fake merchandise from sellers Retail Net, Tech Connect, Unichem Logistics and Marco Wagon, during this raid more than 15000 pairs of fake skechers shoes, in the future they are planning to raid in further more branches for a final count report.
In this case there was no representation being made by the company as the representative stated the matter being sub judice. Further, the company also stated that the company will take adequate action in order to protect its brand name and will safeguard copyright and intellectual property from being infringed.
As Flipkart being one the most established ecommerce company keeps quality check over the genuinity of the product which is also known as ‘Flipkart Assured’ and also Flipkart has blacklisted over more than a lakh sellers dealing in counterfeit merchandise, But still the problem was not resolved.
All the ecommerce company need to do is tighten the entry and control mechanism for their sellers which will lead to curb up such issues as being used by various developed countries and nations. It is not legal in India to sell counterfeit and trademark infringed merchandise in the country except the official import channels or the approved route. As we can see in the past years there is an increase in the petitions filed within the various courts by the brands and consumers on the fake products. Lets us now understand how we may protect ourselves from this cheating and create a space to safeguard our products and brand reputation.
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Role of Intellectual property
The intellectual property (IP) refers to the set of legal rights that arise from the creative genius of the human mind. Intellectual Property rights play an important role in the business development companies, startups, corporations and it serve as a motivating force for creative individuals to share their genius with society. Intellectual Property rights protect one’s ownership interest in intangible objects, such as the idea behind an invention, for instance the name or logo used to brand a product. Without enforcement of these rights in the law, it would be very difficult for society to prosper and grow.
When majority of the people think of intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks and copyrights come to mind. This main group of Intellectual Property rights protects the novel and creative works of inventors, authors, owners and sellers of goods and services in the marketplace. While the legal principles under each of these rights are distinct and also share a common set of principles.
The intellectual property rights (IPR) plays a vital role in our economy as they enhance research and creativity and also provides support to the companies to obtain their competitive position in the economy. As with the help of counterfeit goods many organizations are making huge amount of profits with the help of counterfeited designs, which are protected by trading these goods. Counterfeiting and piracy are used to indicate the violation of intellectual property rights.
Counterfeited goods also deprive the companies from the fruit of their positive image and their investments in research and development, innovation and marketing. This also leads to a long lasting affect not only on the companies but all over the society.
Therefore we are of the opinion that an intellectual property can be protected from being pirated or counterfeited, if it is been registered as there are various provisions applicable to it, once it is registered it becomes a distinct property which cannot be reproduced without the approval.
Such registration ranges from Trademark Registration, Design Patent, Copyright registration or Patent Registration.
These registrations essentially give you a firsthand right to stop infringers, and establish you as the rightful owner as these registrations are considered to be the prima facie evidence of ownership.
For example, now many online portals such flipkart, amazon ask you for the Trademark application, in case you want to complaint against anyone who is also selling their products on these online ecommerce portals.
Many authors are able to successfully license their work only after filing for copyright registration. So let us make our business more safer by protecting our products and brand with suitable Intellectual property registration.
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