January 9, 2012
So, you got a great deal on a pair of boots for your daughter for Christmas. But now that she's worn them to school (every day) and compared the tag with her friends, you're a little squeamish. Is UGG in all capital letters the real thing, or are the “Ugg”-labeled ones authentic? This guide tries to outline the way to spot a fake, but does it really matter?
It might, if bills like this one take off, making it illegal to purchase fake goods. Which means you wouldn't get away with saying you thought your Cooch bag or Prado belt were the real thing.
There have been major crackdowns on knock-off designer goods, but nobody's going to flash a badge at the door, walk into your daughter's English class and start confiscating fakes off the feet of teenagers. New York police nabbed $3.5 million in counterfeit goods from one store in November, and $4million more was seized in port near Los Angeles in December. According to this article, $80 million of goods were seized and kept off the market in the weeks before Christmas through a series of coordinated raids. Government agents have also slowed the flow of goods by seizing web sites that sell them.
Fake designer goods are a big business in the U.S. “In fiscal year 2010, ICE and CBP intellectual property rights enforcement efforts led to nearly 20,000 seizures, a 34 percent increase compared to the previous year. The total value of those goods, based upon the manufacturer's suggested retail price had the goods been genuine, $1.4 billion,” says a press release by the government agency.
While the government's standard line is that such fakes are infringing on copyright law, may be harmful to health (such as lead substituted for genuine silver in jewelry) and are robbing the country of jobs, others continue to allege that counterfeits fund international terrorism.
This writer took the time to trace a knock-off handbag back to its Chinese manufacturer with the question of honesty barely entering the picture. This fashionista struggles with her conscience, saying she has enjoyed fakes but thinks buyers should be held harmless as long as no animals were injured in the making of her handbags.