Any of you who follow me on twitter will know that recently I visited the island of Mallorca a few weeks back. The island is beautiful and I really enjoyed my time there. However I did notice one thing that worried me a little. I spotted a number of, what I believe to be, counterfeit designer items in the shops.
We all know that counterfeit products offer poor build quality, cheap materials and are often made by companies with appalling working conditions. The contributions from the sales of these goods will also more than likely fund more serious organized crimes.
We also know that counterfeit designer products have plagued the fashion industry for many years, especially in the Far East. However, I was surprised to see such counterfeits in a European shopping area boldly on display.
One shop I found offered a large number of leather goods that I would consider counterfeit products. The shop was located on the sea front and was a good size. As I wondered around the store, I noticed a large number of logos from well-known designer brands that had been modified in some small way.
I'm in no way a legal expert so I couldn't say whether the small logo modifications are legal or not, but for me, I consider these items to be counterfeit. The products were clearly created on the basis of cheating someone and were certainly close enough in logo design to the original designer brand to warrant some sort of legal challenge I would think.
I know one thing for sure; when the owners saw me sneaking a few photos they were not pleased, which would, perhaps, suggest that the practice is illegal.
As I wondered around the shop I noticed that the shop itself was fairly busy with a number of customers holding the counterfeit items ready to pay.
I found myself thinking: were these shoppers aware that they were buying counterfeit and did they actually care? Or were they more concerned with the price they were paying for the product itself?
Whilst in the store, I really had to bite my lip and not stand in the middle of the shop informing people that the items they were holding were not genuine designer goods. Taking into consideration my lack of legal knowledge regarding the logos, and that I was on vacation, I decided just to leave the shop as quickly as possible.
It saddens me that retailers would want to sell these items and I truly hope that the people buying them genuinely didn't know that they were buying counterfeit, which I strongly suspect was the case.
The question I still have in my mind is whether modifying logos and not actually mentioning the original brand name still constitutes as counterfeiting legally?
I would really welcome your thoughts on the above photos. Do you consider the products counterfeit or a clever technique to avoid possible persecution?
Please add comments below.
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