ARC Forum: Fight Against Fake

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 @ 06:02 PM gHale

By Gregory Hale
In the “good old days” it used to be counterfeiters were sloppy and it was pretty easy to tell a ripped off product being sold as the real thing

Not any more.

“Now the counterfeiters are world class workers,” said Ron Guido, vice president of global brand protection at Johnson & Johnson during his keynote address Tuesday at the 16th Annual ARC World Industry Forum in Orlando, FL. “You can’t stop counterfeiters.”

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Guido added on the good side, intellectual property rights seizures increased by 24 percent in 2010. But, he added, that is still a low number. The sources of counterfeiters was not a surprise as over 80 percent came from countries controlled by China: 18 percent in Hong Kong and 62 percent in China proper.

Consumers face exposure to counterfeit products at an increasing rate, Guido said. $700 billion in 2010 and up to $1.2 trillion by 2014.

Guido said manufacturers employing best practices will help guard off the poaching, but even if you do improve the people, processes and technology, it will still be difficult.

“We need better technologies,” Guido said.

One of the ways to ward off counterfeiting is for suppliers to collaborate. This is not an area where one would gain a competitive advantage, he said. Instead, it would be each different company sharing what they do and any lessons learned.

There are two methods currently used to detect counterfeiting: Point authentication and flow visibility.

Flow visibility simply watches the movement of product to determine where it injected into the system, while point authentication looks at and tests if the product is genuine.

While he did say it is difficult to find counterfeiters, there are things you can do to secure yourself. The company needs to:
• Create a cultural shift where you don’t tolerate one incident at all
• Influence regulations
• Implement technologies
• Design new business models

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