Counterfeiting is a worldwide phenomenon which affects many different industries, especially products such as clothing and accessories, electronics, perfumes and FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods). The latter is becoming increasingly targeted by fraudsters, and many affected companies are now having to deal with new issues such as trademark protection, reporting identified counterfeiters, and informing consumers about knockoffs.
FMCGs tend to be products sold in high volumes with low contribution margins. They are generally inexpensive, require little commitment in the consumer’s decision-making process, and have a relatively short shelf life. Common FMCGs are pre-packaged foods, beauty products, toiletries and over-the-counter drugs. The industry is now seeing many product labels being ripped off as well as bottles and packaging being refilled and sold as originals by counterfeiters.
In order to counter this relatively new development, companies are investing heavily in protecting their patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property. Brand protection in the FMCG industry means increasing the time and capital spent on monitoring competitors, answering competitor claims, educating consumers in identifying counterfeits, and other brand protection methods and strategies. The main issue for smaller FMCG companies is the fact that protecting trademarks is time-consuming, and most simply do not have enough resources to dedicate to this end. However, with more and more of these types of goods targeted by counterfeiters, simply looking on is not a viable option.
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