Counterfeiting has been rife in the fashion industry for as long as we can remember, but the same has exploded in the mainstream since the turn of the 20th century when “big brands” began to gain popularity. The ease of access to media and information can be seen in the entrenchment of counterfeiting in the fashion industry, in fact, the fashion industry itself has become a sub-industry!house of gucci (starring Adam Driver and the enthusiastic Lady Gaga) forgery Attitudes in the fashion industry, similar to attitudes in the fashion industry in the 20th century – in a fairly iconic scene, the main character could be that the GUCCI fakes are of pretty good quality and the market is not booming with GUCCI fakes. observe something. case!

However, the fashion giant’s demeanor has certainly changed in the last few years, especially due to factors such as easier access to the internet and social media (see our previous article on the subject. fake it in fashion When Luxury Counterfeit – Guccio Gucci SPA v. Intiyaz Sheikh).

That said, the fashion industry’s rather close relationship with the world of counterfeit goods is understandable. Influencing and forming an integral part of everyday life. As such, there is nothing more important in the fashion industry than the label that bears the brand name, and each brand name is its own legacy. Fashion is also known for its cultural heritage, elegance and colorfulness in all parts of the world. In the fashion industry, before brands were created and widely used, consumers were concerned with quality, comfort, price and design, but the same things have mutated over time. , I would rather spend $50 on a counterfeit high fashion branded item than spend $70 on the same product that is much better manufactured, but from a lesser known/in demand brand.

However, with the gradual evolution of the fashion industry, and essentially its transformation to economies of scale, the fashion industry faces threats through the mass production of clothing that began approximately in the middle of the 19th century. Counterfeiting on an unknown scale..

The fashion industry is now one of the world’s most popular and profitable industries, and it has become a part of everyday life.

IP in the fashion industry

Intellectual property rights are rights used to ensure the originality of ideas (and the expression of ideas) and are also used to protect intellectual creations from those who steal or enrich them. In the context of the fashion industry, branding and reputation form the backbone of the industry. Names such as GUCCI and Louis Vuitton carry a sense of dignity and respect that cannot be imitated in other industries. In addition to trademarks/branding, design/industrial design and copyright form part of his IP portfolio of members in the fashion industry.

Counterfeiting can be defined as the imitation of something for the purpose of deceiving it. People sell reproductions of the most popular brands in their local markets, but they are very similar to the originals when it comes to patterns, designs, and color schemes. Counterfeit goods can also be of very high quality, in fact significantly exacerbating the threat of counterfeit goods in the industry.

The most popular counterfeit market is clothing, followed by items such as watches, shoes, handbags and jewelry. Some of the most copied names include H&M, Gucci, Burberry, Hermès, Nike, Puma, Adidas, Blackberry and Cartier. Today, in many bazaars and marketplaces, you can hear numerous vendors calling out to customers, claiming they sell the exact item. ABC Branded Copy (or “First Copy”). Worse, such counterfeits can be easily browsed online and the same can be delivered to your home.

Therefore, the number of cases of legal action against counterfeit goods in the Indian fashion industry is increasing day by day. For example, in March 2021, police seized a large number of counterfeit goods of popular brands such as Killer, Mufti, Allen Solly and Louis Philippe. They also seized a large number of labels and tags of popular apparel brands.The seized goods were of value INR 20,000,000 (20 million) Through social media and online platforms. A lawsuit under Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957 and Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code was filed against him for selling counterfeit clothing under different brand names.1.

Counterfeiting in the Indian Fashion Industry – Recent Trends

Some of the recent trademark infringement and counterfeiting cases are:

Guccio Gucci SPA v. Intiyaz Sheikh2

Global luxury giant Gucci has obtained unilateral reprieve from Delhi’s Tith Hazari District Court restricting local manufacturers from using the brand’s iconic logo on their products. filed by the plaintiff to prevent the defendant from infringing its trademark and copyright with respect to substandard quality socks sold in the United States. The plaintiff learned that the defendant was illegally manufacturing socks using the plaintiff’s registered trademark and logo, and in addition to the suit for permanent injunction, the plaintiff applied for permission to grant a preliminary injunction along with an application for the appointment of a district commissioner. did. Conduct a search of the defendant’s premises.

The court not only passed a permanent injunction in favor of Gucci, but also directed the defendants to seek damages of INR 200,000 and costs of INR 166,000.

Hermes International & Anr. v Macky Lifestyle Private Limited & Anr.3

Hermes International & Anr (Plaintiff) sued Defendants for trademark and copyright infringement, passing off, dilution, discoloration, account transfer, damages, delivery, unfair competition, and misappropriation. rice field.

Hermès International is the adopter and registered owner of the well-known three-dimensional shape trademark and, thanks to it, the exclusive ownership of the shape of the “Birkin” bag, as well as the trademark “Hermes” and the stylized mark “Hermes”. are enjoying About its products, including luxury bags and accessories.”

A few months ago, in December 2021, Hermes obtained a preliminary injunction from the Hon’ble Delhi High Court against, among other things, the defendant’s promotion of infringing goods on its own website or other third party websites. limited.

Comparison of Shivani Cosmetics by M/s Blue Heaven Cosmetics Pvt Ltd and partners Vinod Monga and Nishant MongaFour

Blue Heaven Cosmetics (Plaintiff), through its partners Vinod Monga and Nishant Monga (Defendant), is suing Shivani Cosmetics for infringement of trademark/trade dress/copyright/style/color combination/label/packaging in Delhi. I filed a lawsuit in the High Court. / Product impersonation, delivery, submission of profit accounts, and other ancillary remedies.

Plaintiff came across defendant’s accused product (eyeliner) which was an exact replica of plaintiff’s registered trademark/copyright/trade dress/color combination/style/package/label/overall upright. , is dissatisfied with the Defendant’s use of the “BLUE HEAVEN” mark/infringement of registered trademark/label/copyright/style/color combination/packaging rights.

On December 23, 2021, the Hon’ble High Court ruled that not only the defendant copied the trademark, but also the plaintiff’s I decided. Therefore, the court may rule that any trade dress/copyright/style/color combination/label/package/overall appearance that directly or indirectly infringes plaintiff/applicant’s registered trade dress/color combination/style restricted defendant’s use of / Package / Label / Copyright belongs to “BLUE HEAVEN”.

Relaxo Footwears Limited vs Nikhil Footwears and AnrFive

RELAXO FOOTWEARS LIMITED (Plaintiff), a well-known Indian footwear brand, has filed a lawsuit against Nikhil Footwears (Defendant) in Delhi High Court seeking a unilateral interim injunction. The lawsuit involved Relaxo’s registered designs because the defendants were selling footwear with identical designs.

Plaintiffs alleged that defendants believed they were part of the Action Group of companies that manufacture and trade footwear products under the trademark “ACTION.” The plaintiff learned of an identical counterfeit product sold under the brand “ACTION”. Plaintiff responded that he issued two cease and desist notices to Defendant and Defendant did not deal in similar/identical products as previously described. Plaintiffs alleged that the infringed products apparently used the trademark “ACTION” and an email ID with the domain name actionsshoes.com and were said to be manufactured by M/s. Nikhil Footwear. Plaintiff said defendant used multiple company/certificate/company shields to commit illegal acts to escape liability and legal action. Plaintiffs allege that they also have design registrations for some of their products.

On 10 September 2021, the Delhi High Court suspended the defendants from making, selling, offering to sell, advertising, importing, etc. the products whose designs were in obvious or fraudulent imitation of the plaintiff’s registered designs. Infringement and/or Passing Off Plaintiff’s Design.

Conclusion

The fashion industry is glamorous and an industry that fascinates the entire human race. Creativity is the backbone of the industry, a reputation and credibility that took years to build. In addition to this, consumer trust is one aspect that takes years to build in the fashion industry and can easily be lost. brand. The scourge of counterfeiting is therefore something that needs to be removed from the fashion industry.

To that end, consumer awareness has never been more important. Many consumers are now willing and willing to give up their hard-earned money for counterfeits. However, brands in the industry these days are fighting with fire, as you can see from the recent cases above, and the problem of counterfeiting in the fashion industry is expected to slowly decline over the next few years. .



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