Retail in Asia


The fight against counterfeiters: New technologies and tools

Counterfeiters these days are an intelligent bunch, mimicking the processes, techniques and materials to produce goods that are so close to the real thing, it’s near impossible to tell the difference.

In 2013, the market for counterfeit clothing was worth $12 billion, according to Ernst & Young, and in 2014, the global market for counterfeit goods grew by over 15 percent according to Netnames, a brand protection firm whose clients include Adidas, Hermes and Asos.

But fashion brands are fighting back with an arsenal of new technologies. Tracking technologies like RFID and NFC chips help authenticate products, whereby customers can register a product using the brand’s online authentication platform or mobile app. If the product is fake, both the customer and the brand will be alerted.

Online, brands can enlist the services of a company like Netnames with complex search algorithms to trawl the web for counterfeit sales. Using a mix of human and digital intelligence, sites or sellers of counterfeit goods can then be taken down.

It’s a constant battle, with counterfeiters quickly catching up and copying the technologies used to authenticate the products themselves.