Sunday, November 12, 2006

Who's Willing to Talk About Fakes?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Accenture teamed up to write up real world case studies of companies who are actively tackling fakes - and who are willing to talk about it. The interim version of this tool kit contains four of these case studies (New Balance, Merck, and Bendix).

There are some enlightening examples contained in these cases:

  • Manufacturing codes are attached to legitimate Bendix parts; but these are easily duplicated by counterfeiters. Moreover, makers of fake products can always claim that codes are "their own." This clearly makes the case for a 'trusted' source for authenticating codes on products - and making them impossible to guess.
  • New Balance supplies its factories with difficult-to-copy labels with an embedded code. Because labels must be attached to every shoe, this is an effective way to control production integrity and spot fakes or unauthorized overruns. In the near future, New Balance may also assign a unique number to every item—making it possible to determine where and when every article was made.

A final version of the tool kit, with eleven case studies is due out in November 2006.

The Chamber of Commerce has also launched a nicely produced website.