Fake Drugs, Wine, Handbags, and Designer Goods in New York City
[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 10/3/2006 - www.Littleviews.com ]
>> What might seem like a simple pleasure of buying an overpriced counterfeit item that is cheap in comparison to the real thing, has, in fact, fueled a dishonest industry that distorts every aspect of our lives.
The business for counterfeit drugs is so brisk that, by 2010, the $75 billion generated by illegal drugs could outstrip the annual growth of the legal variety. Worried? Don't buy your drugs over the Internet, a popular means of distribution, unless you are really sure of the source. Super low price? Fuggetaboutit. Mr. Huge further indicates that evidence related to illegal sales points to organized crime with some connections to terrorism.
According to Stacy Meichtry (Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2006 ), Giuseppe Fugaro, who is head of the agriculture antifraud unit in Naples, indicates that more than 6.6 million bottles of fake Falaghina were rounded up in Italy during 2005. In July, 2006, he pulled another 15,000 fake bottles off the shelves.
And what is the biggest problem? According to Ms Meichtry's article, the quality of counterfeit wines is improving! Some taste good enough to fool seasoned consumers!
But What's Sold in Target and Sam's Club?
A lawsuit was filed on Friday, September 29 in Manhattan's federal court alleging that bags sold by Target replicated Coach's C-pattern as well as an official "Coach" label. These are sold at relatively high prices and are not the $11.89 similars that Target sells, an inexpensive group also under investigation.
According to the article, a "bag purchased from a Target store in Largo, Fla is an 'exact replica of a genuine Coach handbag' bearing at least one Coach trademark..." Target says that the fingered bag is, indeed, a Coach, so what's the problem?
And Then There's eBay
Interestingly, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (the company that owns the Louis Vuitton trademark, among many) sued Wal-Mart stores in June "for selling counterfeit Fendi handbags at its Sam's Club warehouses." More amazing to me is that I saw Fendis in a special deluxe-item case at our local Sam's Club and wondered what they were doing there!
So Who Can We Trust?
Is Wal-Mart no better than a street merchant? According to O'Connell and Hudson, Wal-Mart paid the Tommy Hilfiger Corp. $6.5 million to settle a suit alleging it sold fake clothing in 1999.
Counterfeit versus Similar:
Similars are "in," of course. One of the most popular fashion outlets in New York City, in fact, is H&M, with a fabulous "must visit" store on 5th Avenue, among many locations. The whole point of H&M is to sell knockoffs, or so it seems.
Check out www.anyknockoff.com for a selection of over 2,000 handbags that resemble designer bags.
Article by Karen Little. References: Wall Street Journal Articles: Fighting Fakes, 8/2/06; Top Vineyards Fend Off Bogus Bottles- 'French' Vintages Produced in China, 8/10/06; Can Fashion Be Copyrighted? 9/11/06; Not Our Bag, Coach Says in a Lawsuit Alleging Target Sold Counterfeit Purse, 10/3/2006. This article was first published on 10/3/2006. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.