Admittedly, we know very little, if anything, about sports. However, sports merchandise is something that we take an interest in.
The rise in counterfeit sports merch has been almost uncontrollable. Around the time of the Golden State and Cleveland Cavaliers games in the final seven games of the season, fake jerseys bearing the two teams’ trademarks were mass-produced. Unfortunately, consumers did not shy away from buying these items as they thought shaving a few bucks would be worth it.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), however, has been trying, tirelessly, to intercept the sale and delivery of such products. However, this is much, much easier said than done.
“Enforcing IPR laws is a priority trade issue for CBP and helps to protect America’s economic security and competitiveness,” said Director Eric Batt, Apparel, Footwear and Textiles Center of Excellence and Expertise. “The significance of that mission is magnified even more during national sporting events such as the NBA Finals and just as our recent seizure activity shows, we remain committed to ensuring that arriving merchandise adheres to federal [intellectual property] law and shipments that infringe on registered trademarks will be targeted and seized.”
Given the new age of Internet shopping, controlling the shipment of fake goods is increasingly difficult. While counterfeit merchandise used to be sent to stores, it is now being sent, individually, to online shoppers. As such, government officials are forced to find and seize counterfeits one-at-a-time in a stream of 250 million individual packages.
Another issue is the public’s interest in counterfeit goods. Finding products that look very similar to that of high-end designers at a much lower price makes shoppers feel as though they are being clever. However, we urge you to stay away from this brand of shopping. This not only causes problems for designers who spend much more time, effort, and capital to produce the ‘real deal’, but, believe it or not, it can have much more serious consequences.
According to the Department of Homeland Security assistant special agent Richard Halverson, counterfeiting efforts have regularly been tied to international crime rings that use this scheme to launder money from illegal drug sales and human trafficking.
So, the next time an I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-real-Chanel catches your eye, please, think twice.
Information accredited to The Fashion Law.