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July 22, 2008

Knockoff News 80

A periodic collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, what's the logical response from a pseudonymous street artist whose countercultural creativity has spawned a legion of pretenders to the throne, as well as an active but unregulated resale market for his work?

For Banksy, the answer is the establishment of an official certification board, a.k.a. Pest Control.  After all, nobody wants to buy inauthentic illegal art. 


March 19, 2008

Knockoff News 79

A periodic collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

No translation needed for these universal gestures from the Complaint Department!

And finally, publicity for the Sex and the City movie is well underway, but one assumes that Sarah Jessica Parker didn't authorize this particular product tie-in.  As for some of the similarly replicated actresses, singers, and celebutantes -- who knows?  (Polite pixelating courtesy of Defamer.)

 

February 25, 2008

Knockoff News 78

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, while Counterfeit Chic must confess to having seen almost none of this year's Academy Award-nominated films (did anyone go to the movies this year?), there's one winner that nevertheless must receive applause:  The Counterfeiters, Austria's entry for Best Foreign Language Film.  No clothes, just cash -- but name, after all, is destiny. 

February 08, 2008

Knockoff News 77

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, just how many of the customers slipping into the "secret," counterfeit-stuffed cubbyholes off New York's Canal Street are actually reporters?  If the number of feature articles built around such trips is any indication, quite a few.  Truth be told, Counterfeit Chic may have been asked to accompany one, or two, or three...

But the popular press junket may be history, thanks to a too-acquisitive, uncritical, and unapologetic piece from the Miami Herald:

Even the ostensibly cautionary sidebar concludes by noting that "casual buyers are unlikely to be busted" -- before offering shopping tips in the form of "homework" for future counterfeit customers.

Readers, including the IP manager for Coach, excoriated the paper for promoting illegal activity, leading its ombudman to offer a tepid semi-apology and a promise not to buy any more fakes himself.  No word on whether the "journalistic porn" actually increased circulation.  Or whether the paper reimbursed the reporter's $215 outlay. 

Thanks to Kate Lee for the tip!

January 26, 2008

Knockoff News 76

It's been a while -- but Knockoff News is back by popular demand (thanks, Likelihood of Confusion!).  Here's the latest collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Tavis Coburn's Mao Jordan

And finally, longtime Counterfeit Chic readers will remember Johnny Cupcakes and his ardent admirer, Urban Outfitters.  It seems there's now another clothing conglomerate that finds Johnny's tasty treats too delicious to resist:

If ever copyright infringement could cause cavities, this would be the case.

December 30, 2007

Knockoff News 75

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, take advantage of the post-holiday sale at your favorite museum shop now -- especially if your taste runs to ankh bracelets and pyramid paperweights.  Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities intends to seek royalties on exact copies of ancient objects in order to fund preservation. 

A far more laudable goal than the average pyramid scheme, to be sure.  But if you were worried about the extension of copyright term limits before.... 

Many thanks to Jacob Howley, cultural property aficionado extraordinaire, for the tip!

December 12, 2007

Knockoff News 74

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Chloe (left), Urban Outfitters, and BB Dakota dresses

And finally, for those of you who believe in a place "Where Dreams Come True" and who always root for Pinocchio in his quest to become a real boy, here's proof of a kindred spirit in the Italian court system: 

Presumably the Magic Kingdom will have something to say about the exercise of personal jurisdiction over its citizens...

December 02, 2007

Knockoff News 73

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

  

November 06, 2007

Knockoff News 72

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Zoo York Doodle messenger (left, USD $36.50) and Forever 21 Cali ($15.80)

And finally, a brief celebration of intellectual property and the first Tuesday in November.  (Yes, that's what you forgot to do today -- vote.)  You still have a year to get to the polls and decide whose carefully maintained Presidential image you prefer...

...but if you're a resident of Burlington, Iowa, there's a candidate who's asking for your support now.  Not only in the voting booth, but in his -- er -- misunderstanding with the Campbell Soup Company.  M'm -- not so good. 

October 15, 2007

Knockoff News 71

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, while some counterfeit busts involve months of investigation and the unraveling of complex digital networks of international intrigue, others are just dumb luck:

September 26, 2007

Knockoff News 70

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, what's the story with caveman chic?  First there was the ad campaign for Geico (below inset), which became an ABC sitcom.  Are the characters now moonlighting as sportswear models, or is the Weatherproof ad below a licensed use?  And who owns the characters' images anyway -- the ad agency?  the insurance company who originally paid for the ads?  the TV network?  the actors?  Of course, the basic concept of a modern-day caveman isn't new, but must they all share the same stylist?  More here and here

    Authorized copy or not, someone should club this trend over the head before it spreads any further. 

September 09, 2007

Knockoff News 69

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, a recent Radar online guide to counterfeits offers this dubious homage to the Lacoste alligator:

While the unfortunate reptile struck me as strangely familiar, it hasn't previously appeared on Counterfeit Chic.  After some reflection, I realized that this particular dead 'gator is actually a ghost from my childhood -- the subject of a case brought in 1982, to be exact, and settled a couple of years later.  Apparently Mad Dog, the onetime parodist of preppiedom who drew the ire of first Izod Lacoste and then Ralph Lauren, is still around.  And either I have better recall than I suspected or I've been studying the legal implications of imitation fashion for far too long -- or both.  Thanks to my Fordham law student James Creedon for an unexpected trip down memory lane.

August 27, 2007

Knockoff News 68

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, Counterfeit Chic readers may remember Jessica Kagan Cushman's bracelets, made of fossilized mammoth ivory and allegedly copied by Chanel in resin (and by others in plastic and magic marker).  Not only did Jessica craft a witty scrimshaw response to Chanel, but she also decided to knock herself off with a less expensive resin diffusion line

Now Style Fix reports that Forever 21, hearing that there was copying afoot and feeling left out, has created a plastic version of its own:

Forever 21 bracelet USD $5.80

Congratulations on winning the race to the bottom -- for now.

August 15, 2007

Knockoff News 67

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And if you're sitting at your desk and daydreaming about the feeling of sand between your toes, this message is for you:

July 30, 2007

Knockoff News 66

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, a screenshot honoring a much-loved small screen series that has become one of this summer's big screen events:

 

Meanwhile,
Following a long tradition of Simpsons knockoffs:

 

July 17, 2007

Knockoff News 65

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

One man's trash may be another's treasure -- but is the reverse true as well?  For those of you who secretly believe that contemporary art is garbage -- the 8,601 diamonds and 27 human teeth that Damien Hurst set into a lifesize platinum cast of a human skull notwithstanding -- here's one response:  

But wait!  Before you go dumpster diving for diamonds, read on:

July 11, 2007

Knockoff News 64

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for those of you wondering about the connection between counterfeits and terrorism, check this out:

Vuitton grenade at Squidsicle.com 

OK, Osama's pals aren't really lobbing "Vuitton" grenades, but perhaps Anko (the artist) is -- metaphorically, anyway. 

July 06, 2007

Knockoff News 63

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for progressive parents concerned about the effects of your young daughters' exposure to Barbie but still in thrall to pink, your worries are over!  For what harm could come from being a Benign Girl?  Thanks to Esther17 for posting on Flickr!

 Barbie knockoff Benign Girl

June 22, 2007

Knockoff News 62

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Fendi Fox

And this just in the oven:  The latest complaint in the long-standing New York City saga of Ray's Pizza has been filed.  Famous Original Ray's Licensing Corp. v. World Famous Ray's Pizza & Restaurant et al., docket #1:07-cv-05833-LTS, should be served up shortly.  In the meantime, here's another take on what it means to be a real pizza in a marketing-driven world. 

June 07, 2007

Knockoff News 60

 A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, joining the annals of careless copyright infringers is ex-jewelry company Real Imposters.  Not only was the company name something less than a sign of a good faith creative enterprise, but its president admitted copying 26 John Hardy jewelry designs -- presumably skipping the step of creating hand-carved models. 

John Hardy Kali cuff

Worse still, among the infringing objects was a cuff bracelet from John Hardy's Kali collection.  Never mess with the jewelry of a goddess whose signature adornment is a necklace made of human skulls.

May 28, 2007

Knockoff News 59

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Counterfeit Vuitton car

And in the best pun of the week, Le Petit Musee des Marques features Elle magazine's warning that counterfeiting is anti-fashion:

An appropriate slogan for the global fashion police, no?  Perhaps instead of fines and possible jail time for tourists who buy fakes, the French government should just send offending consumers home in T-shirts stamped accordingly.

May 08, 2007

Knockoff News 58

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Don't fcuk with their trademark

And for those of you in the mood for a little light reading:

True Story, Swear to God #5

April 27, 2007

Knockoff News 57

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Hello Kitty ponders her choice of weapon

April 15, 2007

Knockoff News 56

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Featured this week, here's a most unusual argument for wearing real over fake, courtesy of Japanese designer Chie Imai:

And finally, many thanks to Likelihood of Success (see also perennial fave Likelihood of Confusion) for the good words!  If Counterfeit Chic weren't already pink, it would be blushing. 

April 09, 2007

Knockoff News 55

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And as soon as the WTO returns from its Easter break (why create a bureaucracy if not for the long weekends?), the U.S. will file a pair of cases against China.  One seeks greater market access for copyrighted U.S. goods; the other demands greater intellectual property law enforcement.

March 25, 2007

Knockoff News 54

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for those of you unclear on the difference between ersatz plastic friends and genuine plastic friends, enjoy this drama in which American Girl declines to invite knockoff dolls to the party, an outraged mummy flames the company, and Professor Christine Hurt reluctantly offers a retail world lesson. 

Generic doll meets American Girl exclusive

One can't help but feel sorry for the poor little girl  -- but what are the chances that our angry mummy carries a replica handbag and expects the original company to repair it?  (HT:  Trademark Blog)

March 14, 2007

Knockoff News 53

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, it seems that rampant commercial copying has sparked a bit of do-it-yourself imitation as well:

A shopper-style bag with a gold chain handle, the Tribute Patchwork is made up of samples of 15 bags from the Louis Vuitton spring/summer and cruise collections.

However, it is the most counterfeited brand in the world - just one per cent of all products claiming to be made by Louis Vuitton are genuine. With this in mind, the Tribute Patchwork was created not just for aesthetic effect but in conjunction with the company's anti-counterfeiting unit, which is confident that this may be the first Louis Vuitton product that cannot be faked.

A Louis Vuitton insider said: "It takes all the best parts of the season's creations and rolls them into one. We are confident that the bag is utterly exclusive and that it will remain so."

Well, I've got bad news for Louis Vuitton - I've made my own.

Not only does Brooklyn designer Kate Cusack have to contend with alleged copying by The Gap, but enterprising crafters are working on -- and publicizing -- their own versions.

Cusack v Gap exhibit 3

Simple Joys DIY copy

March 04, 2007

Knockoff News 52

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for certain exotic purchases, the Economist reports that DNA testing can now be used to separate real from fake.  For some, this must be quite a relief.

Vivienne Westwood seal penis earrings

Frankly, though, we prefer our authenticated aphrodisiacs in more familiar form, say gemstones or precious metals -- and with all due respect to Dame Vivienne, perhaps in more discreet shapes as well.

February 24, 2007

Knockoff News 51

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for tomorrow night's Academy Awards, when some will be looking at the dresses, others will be looking to knock off the dresses, and few (if any) will be listening to the speeches:

And during the commercials, check out Bronwyn Cosgrave's history of Oscar's fashion winners and losers.

Bronwyn Cosgrave Made for Each Other

As the Globe and Mail notes in its review:

Some gowns have caused a knockoff furor. The dress Halle Berry by Lebanese designer Elie Saab screamed in when she won for Monster's Ball launched his career and resulted in thousands of high schoolers strapping on voluminous burgundy skirts with embroidered tops.

Worst was the 1999 Gwyneth Paltrow prissiness by Ralph Lauren. The pink sweetheart gown she sobbed into was a huge hit in Wal-Marts everywhere for grad season.

Wonder what the odds are in Vegas for the celebrity gown most likely to be knocked off this year? 

February 14, 2007

Knockoff News 50

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And if you or your Valentine has dreams of red carpets rather than red roses, then check out the new "Celebrity Couples" feature at Like.com to locate looks like -- but not identical to -- the ones below.  (Note, of course, the legal disclaimer disavowing any endorsement of merchandise by the golden couples on display.)

Why let your sweetheart wear ordinary black wingtips when you could be assured that he's dressed like Demi Moore's arm candy?

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 06, 2007

Knockoff News 49

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Le petit Musee des Marques highlights Adidas' Fake Hurts Real campaign -- click for more great pics!

February 05, 2007

Harper's Happening

The mood at the 3rd annual Harper's Bazaar Anticounterfeiting Summit last Thursday was more somber than in years past.  From publisher Valerie Salembier's continued focus on child labor conditions, to New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's description of counterfeits funding the Madrid bombings, to attorney Alain Coblence's description of the impact of knockoffs on American designers, the message was one of a steadily increasing problem.

On the bright side, lunch was lovely.  (So much for my regularly claiming that this is not one of those websites about what the blogger had for lunch.)  And oh yes, Harper's is preparing to launch a website of its own, fakesareneverinfashion.com -- complete with a shopping portal to guide consumers to genuine goods. 

In the meantime, here are the articles on counterfeits and design piracy from the January issue of the magazine, as well as a few reports on the summit itself:

January 30, 2007

Knockoff News 48

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, an allegedly treif trademark use, brought to you courtesy of the letter "K":

Assraelis

Of course, the complaining New Jersey company doesn't really own the letter "K," which is not registrable on its own.  Kof-K owns a mark consisting of the Roman letter "K" printed inside the Hebrew letter "kof," one of dozens of kosher certification marks currently registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

So even if Kof-K isn't willing to supervise production and certify Tight Fit Productions' products as kosher, surely someone will volunteer for the job....

UPDATE:  For a tasty and tasteful take on this issue, check out the inimitable Likelihood of Confusion.  

January 23, 2007

Knockoff News 47

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, an example of cultural appropriation that will either promote world peace or cause yet another rift in the Middle East -- you decide:

Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin

PROPONENTS' VIEW:  "Once Israelis adopt the accessory, it will create "a common denominator" with their neighbors."

OPPONENTS' VIEW:  "Some [Palestinians] already see the Israeli keffiyeh as threatening to appropriate yet another trademark element of their culture (see: hummus, nargila water pipes and belly dancing)."

FASHIONISTA'S VIEW:  "It can go with the relaxed look of the backpackers who return from abroad and like to layer themselves in textile wraps."

Now there's a question for the Miss Universe pageant.

January 15, 2007

Knockoff News 46

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for those fans preparing to sit back and enjoy the annual marketing contest that is Hollywood's awards season, here are a couple of reminders that images on film are not always what they seem (and that New York isn't particularly happy about it):

January 07, 2007

Knockoff News 45

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for those of you whose cosy midwinter fantasies include briefs about briefs -- or at least a leading manufacturer thereof -- here are a couple of not-so-sweet nothings:

December 26, 2006

Knockoff News 44

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And here's one for those of you engaged in reverse holiday decorating, whether that involves dragging a tree to the curb and picking needles out of the rug or packing up a plastic pine until next year:

While much of the evergreen debate centers on the environment -- the old renewable resources versus reusable goods thing -- the tree farmers aren't exactly subtle when it comes to their opinion of the artificial versions:

The Web site of the National Christmas Tree Association refers to some fake trees as "big green toilet bowl brushes." The group has also started distributing an online game called "Attack of the Mutant Artificial Trees," where kids can vaporize garishly colored conifers by pelting them with virtual snowballs.

And you thought fashion bloggers were snarky.

December 14, 2006

Knockoff News 43

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And has Batman left Gotham City for Moscow?  Check out the "updated" symbol of Russia's military intelligence service:

Of course, my sources tell me that the bat symbol (a reference to radar) dates back to the Soviet era.  The redesign, however, is suspiciously familar. 

December 03, 2006

Knockoff News 42

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And in the midst of a rather quiet week on the fake front appeared these observations on "authenticity" as the newest harbinger of retail success:

But for something to be perceived as authentic, that value has to be communicated cleanly through every detail — from the quality of the wash, if it’s a T-shirt, to the integrity of the physical environment.

****

“Every high-profile Gap executive has walked through my store,” Ms. Garduno said.

****

She continued: “Well, go look at the Gap. They claim to not want to rip you off, but the fact is they do. And it’s not working for them — not even lifting my ideas, and with all of their money and art direction. They still don’t have faith. They don’t have faith in themselves, and it comes out instinctually in the product. I think people know the difference.”

A Gap spokeswoman said, “This is the first we’ve heard of it” and declined further comment.

If the ongoing slide in Gap, Inc.'s sales and investment ratings is any indication, a bit of self-authentication might be in order. 

 

 

November 24, 2006

Knockoff News 41

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Lucky Break Wishbone

And because the law of fashion by implication includes its absence:

November 14, 2006

Knockoff News 40

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And if you thought that doing your own laundry was a chore, just wait until you read this:

November 09, 2006

Likelihood of Comprehension

Knockoff News fans should head over to Ron Coleman's clever and informative Likelihood of Confusion site for an interesting analysis of yesterday's first item, "Take a hike: Counterfeits affect Russian economy," an article on counterfeit products.  After looking at the picture, Ron asks whether the item depicts counterfeiting or trademark infringement.  Take note, those of you getting ready to study for finals!

But there's one additional factor to play with:  in the Cyrillic alphabet, the letter "H" is pronounced like the Latin "N."  If only the first letter of the "NIKE" mark is altered (with the rest remaining in the Latin original), we end up with "HIKE."  Interesting local hybrid, da? 

(The subject of translated, transliterated, and homophonic infringements is a tale for another day, but in the meantime, click here for advice on trademark registration in Russia.)

November 08, 2006

Knockoff News 39

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Nike knockoff 

And for the oenophiles out there, it's not just faux wine that can worsen a hangover -- it's the accessories as well:

BuiltNY wine tote

November 02, 2006

Knockoff News 38

And a counterfeit shopping excursion to the asphalt jungle yields not only handbags but hieroglyphics:

The cutting-edge collage is the work of artist Judith Supine.  But is the underlying graffito (yes, that's really the singular) "real" urban street art or a commercial imitation?  You decide. 

October 25, 2006

Knockoff News 37

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And it's not really the World Series, but for fellow baseball fans it might as well be:

 

October 18, 2006

Knockoff News 36

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And if you need a counterfeit coffee break, drop by IPKat for the latest legal "brew"haha:

October 10, 2006

Knockoff News 35

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

October 02, 2006

Knockoff News 34

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And joining this week's reports of anti-counterfeiting enforcement efforts is a scene from last year's animated film Robots.  In the six-second clip, aspiring inventor Rodney Copperbottom (given voice by Ewan McGregor) heads off to the big city, only to be greeted by a series of hucksters.  In this case, however, the counterfeit merchandise offers a public service message of its own:

 

September 26, 2006

Knockoff News 33

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for those of you who thought that everyone celebrates a bull market:

Wall Street bull

September 18, 2006

Knockoff News 32

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for those of you who will be following New York Fashion Week with trips to London, Milan, and Paris, the French government has posted reminders regarding its anticounterefeiting laws, which penalize consumer behavior as well as the manufacture and sale of fakes (via Flickr photographer Mwin Mwin):

September 09, 2006

Knockoff News 31

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, the Museum of the City of New York kicks off Fashion Week with an exhibit devoted to African-American style -- and Wall Street Journal reporter Teri Agins comments on the challenge of knockoffs to emerging designers:

The bottom line, Agins said, is the bottom line.

“The business is tough. There are knockoffs, and counterfeit product is something you see on Canal Street,” in Manhattan, Agins said. Because of the Internet and digital photos that can transmit a look anywhere in the world within minutes of it crossing a runway, “it’s hard for any designer to break in and establish a look.”

August 30, 2006

Knockoff News 30

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

BITTEN BY A BUG IN INTERNET EXPLORER:  Readers, some buried code in this week's Knockoff News caused a formatting problem on this page for Microsoft IE users.  As a quick fix, I've just moved the rest of the post to below the jump.  To read this week's Knockoff News -- and an explanation of the photo -- please click the link below the picture.  Thanks!

Continue reading "Knockoff News 30" »

August 22, 2006

Knockoff News 29

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And for those of you still celebrating Tiger Woods' 12th major title, or just enjoying life on the links:

Tigger Woods

August 14, 2006

Knockoff News 28

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And finally, a caveat for all of those whose trendy tresses are the result of hair extensions:

Apparently "temple hair," cut off by some Indian women as a Hindu religious sacrifice, is prized by expensively groomed Westerners not only for its length and quality, but also for its spiritual associations.  With the current demand for extensions, however, those luscious locks may not be so divine after all:

But as with anything in fashion, knockoff merchants are waiting in the wings to provide a cheaper version of the masses who want to copy them.  Just like fake Fendi or Chloe bags, temple hair merchants have to fight a flurry of Indian hair suppliers desperate to break into the market for hair extensions.  Now, up to 80 out of every 100 locks of human hair comes from this black market.

Shri E.V.K.S. Elangovan, an Indian trade minister, worries about the popularity of Indian human hair.  "Aside from temple hair, we have no idea where the rest comes from," he says.  "In many cases we fear women are being exploited." 

August weather, fashion's mod mood, unethical extensions ... time to bring back the pixie cut?

August 12, 2006

Welcome, New York Times Readers!

I woke up this morning to find a lovely review of Counterfeit Chic by Times reporter Dan Mitchell.  (You'll have to sign in, but it's free.) 

Many thanks to Dan, and to all of you who sent me email alerts about the piece! 

UPDATE:  For those of you reading the Times online, here's the graphic from the print version of the newspaper:

August 07, 2006

Knockoff News 27

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And congratulations to Diane von Furstenberg on her election as CFDA president!  (How nice to have a nonfictional woman president at some level!)

Diane von Furstenberg

July 30, 2006

Knockoff News 26

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Miss Ghana

July 23, 2006

Knockoff News 25

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

Germany:  the land of ideas

July 10, 2006

Knockoff News 24

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

LV Multicolore Boulogne v. DB

And a 5 part series on the high cost of piracy:

June 29, 2006

Knockoff News 23

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, a summary affirmation of the district court's earlier decision in Hooters v. Winghouse, discussed here.  (Short version of the decision:  The "Hooters Girl" in uniform is primarily functional, and therefore does not qualify for trade dress protection.) 

 But was the original "Hooters Girl" really inspired by body paint?

Photo by Mario Casilli, Playboy, March 1968

Hat tips for various newsbriefs to MarkenBlog & David Althoff!

June 18, 2006

Knockoff News 22

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

 

June 13, 2006

Knockoff News 21

S & Ms

And an update on Counterfeit Chic's Fendi v. Wal-Mart report:

We have not removed the products for sale because we believe them to be authentic.  We are fairly certain we can prove that.

So either Fendi has evidence that Wal-Mart is selling knockoffs or else Fendi doesn't particularly want last season's luxury merchandise -- real or fake -- diverted to Sam's Club stores by discounters.  Developing....

June 05, 2006

Knockoff News 20

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And here are additional reason for the lady to smile:  

A sales assistant at one Shanghai DVD shop said the initial copies were "pirated overseas" and that "better quality" versions would probably be available early next month.

Perhaps he should've waited for the real fakes to arrive from China?

May 22, 2006

Knockoff News 19

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

It's a sporting week at Counterfeit Chic, as the Knockoff News is filled with faux athletic goods and apparel from soccer (or football, if you please) to golf.  Major league baseball is no exception, with a report that Barry Bonds is not only continuing his allegedly steroid-fueled fight to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time career home runs list but also fighting against the sale of counterfeit memorabilia.

As the article notes:

Word of these challenges [to authenticity] in the close-knit collectibles market, combined with the allegations that Mr. Bonds took steroids, has put a damper on demand for his memorabilia -- even as he approaches one of baseball's most hallowed records. Some dealers say the market price for certain items he used in games has fallen by at least 50% this year. Doug Allen, president of Mastro Auctions in Burr Ridge, Ill., says one collector who paid $25,000 for a Bonds jersey in late 2001 recently sold it for $4,400.

$25,000 for a game-used Bonds jersey?  The real crime may not be the fakes out there, but the fact that a collector would be willing to pay that much for someone else's dirty laundry -- of which there is apparently plenty.

May 15, 2006

Knockoff News 18

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And on a strategic point, Counterfeit Chic has noticed a recent uptick in efforts to blacken the otherwise legal grey market by association with fakes.  (The grey market -- or gray market, if you prefer -- consists of legitmate goods authorized for sale in one market but instead exported for sale in another market to take advantage of differences in price (i.e. arbitrage) or other factors like local taste or exclusivity.  These "parallel imports" generally don't violate intellectual property law but may run afoul of contractual agreements with distributors or retailers.) 

With all of the current attention to knockoffs, it would be a coup for producers to blur the line between grey market goods, on the one hand, and counterfeits or stolen goods, on the other.  This would subject the operation of the grey market to greater scrutiny -- thus increasing producers' ability to engage in market differentiation while limiting the ability of the market to deliver goods to consumers. 

At the moment, Commonwealth countries seem to be most vocal -- last week, New Zealand, this week, the U.K. -- but stay tuned.

May 07, 2006

Knockoff News 17

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And in a convoluted ethical move, conservative Christians' children are playing with American Girl knockoffs rather than the real dolls:

Mission City's doll brand, called A Life of Faith, looks like an American Girl knockoff, complete with historical theme, steep price ($100) and cultlike membership clubs (another $100). The Faith dolls have two enhancements, however: They can position their hands in a prayer pose, and they come equipped with mini Bibles.

For more background on the playroom politics, read on:

May 02, 2006

Knockoff News 16

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And in case you've been wondering about  the sources of "superfakes" and lookalike brands (not to mention the real challenges of litigating IP rights in China):

New Balance vs. Henkee

April 24, 2006

Knockoff News 15

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And from the "So, what else is fake?" department:

April 16, 2006

Knockoff News 14

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And from the poor excuses department:

[Commerce Minister Bo Xilai]  suggested that Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone's inferior kung fu could be one reason why so few people in China watched legal U.S. films.

Rumor has it that the commerce minister also claims that the dog ate his homework.

April 09, 2006

Knockoff News 13

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And in honor of all of the hard-boiled eggs that will be joining us for Easter and Passover this week -- and all their predecessors from early pagan fertility rites -- here's a museum exhibit that combines the real with the fake:

April 03, 2006

Knockoff News 12

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

While food and fashion are sometimes considered mutually opposing forces -- size 2s don't ask for second helpings -- they're united in their relative lack of intellectual property protection.  You can copyright the text of a recipe, but not the instructions in general or the food itself.  But how do gourmets and gourmands react to imitations of a chef's "signature" dish?

Of course, if you'd prefer beer and nachos with your Knockoff News, then you'll probably be courtside this evening:

While I, as a Duke undergrad alum, will have to take consolation from the bard.  ("Alas, poor Redick.  I knew him, Horatio.")

March 27, 2006

Knockoff News 11

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture of copying in general around the globe:

And several from an interesting blog on intellectual property and China, IP Dragon

Finally, let both the buyer and the flyer beware.  When airlines lose luggage, both suitcases and their contents (fake or real) may ultimately end up for sale in a Scottsboro, Alabama, store:

Smith cautions that travelers need to educate themselves about the limits of the airlines' liability - no more than $1,250 per bag on domestic flights. In addition, most exempt themselves from paying for, in essence, all items except the bag itself and clothing, said Smith. "It is," he warned, "a caveat emptor situation."

...

For those who want people to think their initials are "LV," a medium-sized piece of Louis Vuitton luggage went for $100, while a very good Vuitton knockoff sold for $30.

March 20, 2006

Knockoff News 10

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and the culture copying in general around the globe:

And perhaps I'm just hungry, but it seems as though there are quite a few fake foods out there this week:

Then again, maybe quite a few people have the munchies:

Marijuana candy

March 12, 2006

Knockoff News 9

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

And British brand Burberry complains that with friends like these, it doesn't need enemies:

The brand's luxury image has been seriously hurt, at least in Britain,by its popularity with chavs, a rowdy working-class subgroup that has taken up the Burberry check as a kind of mass entitlement, tainting its appeal among fashion consumers.  One chav Web site, www.chavmum.co.uk brazenly carpets its home page with the tan-and-black plaid [or at least did until Burberry lawyers read the New York Times this morning], and the chavs have helped to flood the market with Burberry fakes.

Ugly pattern, clever analysis.  Oh well, chacun a son gout. 

March 08, 2006

Knockoff Newsflash

Congress has passed the Stop Countefeiting in Manufactured Goods Act, including provisions for the destruction of any property used in manufacturing fakes.  Text of the bill is available by searching for H.R. 32 on Thomas.

March 06, 2006

Knockoff News 8

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

And a shout-out to all of those knockoff artists busy copying last night's Oscar dresses:

February 26, 2006

Knockoff News 7

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

Ciao, Italia!  To wrap up both Milan Fashion Week and the Winter Olympics, here's our featured article:

Apparently U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir is particularly fond of the "Made in Italy" label, but only if it's genuine:

Weir considers clothes and handbags and sunglasses his children. He believes in buying real designer stuff; when he sees someone with a knockoff handbag, "it hurts my feelings," he says.

Is there a sports psychologist in the house?

February 17, 2006

Knockoff News 6

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

And in honor of this weekend's All-Star game, some advice from the NBA on keepin' it real:

February 11, 2006

Knockoff News 5

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

...and Canal Street

And from the hysterical site IP Funny, proof that while some fashion-related "inventions" can be patented, we really didn't want to copy them in the first place:

February 04, 2006

Knockoff News 4

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

And in honor of SuperBowl Sunday:

January 26, 2006

Knockoff News 3

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

And because where there's an issue, there's a New Yorker ready to express an opinion:

January 19, 2006

Knockoff News 2

A weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

And the award for worst legal advice goes to:

Even if you tell your customers that the goods are fake, you're still in violation of trademark law.  Sorry.

January 11, 2006

Knockoff News

Introducing a weekly (or thereabouts) collection of news about counterfeits, fakes, knockoffs, replicas, imitations, and copying in general from around the globe:

And a couple for laughs:

If you come across additional Knockoff News, please let me know.