Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

Counterfeit news featuring Richemont, Montblanc, Trust condoms, TVS motorbikes, Iron Maiden, and Nichia diodes.

Richemont points to counterfeiters’ espionage tactics

Luxury goods company Richemont says counterfeiters are exploiting its customers services helplines to get information on its products that they then use to duplicate them, reports WWD (subscription required). The company says it was alerted to the issue after a woman called multiple times to ask detailed questions about its jewellery designs.

Montblanc wins $32m in damages from online watch seller

Richemont subsidiary Montblanc-Simplo is also in the news this week after winning $32m in damages against Miroslav Ilnitskiy, who was accused in a lawsuit filed in the US of selling falsified copies of its luxury watches and pens though a website and social media channels such as Instagram, reports (subscription required).

Kenya raises alarm about counterfeit condoms

A family planning organization in Kenya has warned that counterfeit Trust brand condoms are being distributed in the country, raising the risk of unwanted pregnancies, allergies and infections, according to the Daily Nation news service. Population Services Kenya (PSK) has run an advertising campaign in local newspapers to highlight the issue, warning consumers to examine Trust Studded condoms carefully to make sure they are getting an authentic product.

TVS tries QR codes to fight fake automotive parts

Indian motorcycle company TVS Motors has started to use QR codes on its spare parts in an attempt to clamp down on counterfeiting which is impacting its sales performance, reports The Hindu. The fast-growing company – which makes motorbikes, mopeds and three-wheelers – says the codes can be scanned by the buyer to provide information such as the make and model of the spare part, its year of manufacture and cost.

Iron Maiden sues counterfeit merch sites

Heavy metal band Iron Maiden has filed lawsuits in the US against several unidentified websites it accuses of selling trademark-infringing merchandise including unauthorised copies of goods sold in the band’s own online store. The sites are passing themselves off as authorised online retailers, says the band’s holding company, which is seeking a permanent injunction against the sellers, transfer of the domains, and either profits or $2m for each infringement, according to (subscription required).

Fake Nichia laser diode warning

Japan’s Nichia Corp has advised electronics companies to beware of a “large number” of counterfeit copies of its laser diode products in the supply chain and if used unwittingly could cause “negative consequences (e.g. damage to the system or in some cases, unknowing/unintentional involvement in illegal activities).” The company highlights a laser diode model with a faked part number “NDB7B77” which is being sold on the internet as a genuine Nichia product, according to ERAI Inc.

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