Negative award "Plagiarius": Counterfeits pose a massive threat to the economy and consumers!
-Containment through awareness-raising in schools and a crackdown on counterfeiters-
The jury met on January 6 + 7, 2023 and awarded three main prizes and three special awards of equal rank. Global and digital distribution, professional and criminal structures behind it - product and brand piracy is a lucrative billion-dollar business, also for organized crime. Anyone who deliberately buys counterfeits supports the devastating structures: counterfeit products and fakes are often produced under inhumane working conditions and cause damage to innovative manufacturers and authorized retailers, sometimes threatening their very existence. The majority of cheap copies pose serious health, safety and environmental risks. This makes it all the more worrying that more and more influencers on TikTok & Co. are explicitly promoting counterfeit designer goods, trivializing the purchase of illegal products and positioning fakes as socially acceptable. In the interests of society as a whole, the importance of and respect for the intellectual property of others should be part of every curriculum.
Plagiarius: Against brazen theft of ideas - for innovation and fair competition
On February 3, 2023, the Plagiarius campaign awarded its dreaded negative prize "Plagiarius" for the 47th time to manufacturers and retailers of particularly brazen plagiarisms and counterfeits. The award ceremony took place during a press conference at the Frankfurt consumer goods fair "Ambiente".
All photos show: Top left: Original product(s)
Right top bottom: Plagiarism(s) / counterfeit(s)
1st prize - Modular wall shelving system "LINK"
Original: Studio Hausen / Jörg Höltje, Hamburg, Germany
Plagiarism: Distribution: German furniture chain store (active throughout the EU)
Same same but different: Design, concept and proportions are clumsily copied 1:1 - however, the differences in quality are large and cannot be glossed over. The original impresses with its high-quality workmanship and is made from FSC-certified solid wood from sustainable forestry. The counterfeit is made of low-quality tropical mango wood and the cheap hangers are warped. - The furniture chain store showed understanding, stopped the sale, destroyed remaining stock and quoted sales figures. - "Beautiful design, affordable for everyone" is the lure of many retailers. Acceptable, as long as it is an own (permanent) design and "affordable" is not at the expense of creative designers and quality. A large product range does not exempt those responsible for purchasing
from their duty to check their suppliers and the goods they sell. It's all a question of responsibility and appreciation.
2nd prize - Glass "CLUB NO. 6 Superglass 300ml"
Originals: koziol "ideas for friends GmbH, Erbach, Germany
Plagiarism: METPLAS A.S. / "Rubikap" Plastic Tableware, Istanbul, Turkey Crystal vs. plastic look: The special feature of the "CLUB SUPERGLAS" series: A high-tech material that combines the properties of glass - such as transparency
The "CLUB SUPERGLAS" series combines the properties of glass - such as transparency, brilliance and light refraction - with the advantages of plastic - such as unbreakability, insulating properties, lightness and individual colorability. 100% recyclable, 100% Made in Germany, the high-quality koziol super glasses were designed for professional use in the catering and hotel industry. The shape, concept and exclusive
and the exclusive facet design were adopted almost 1:1. However, a direct comparison reveals a simpler processing quality, less stability and the matt appearance typical of plastic. Koziol has protected its design in the EU. Misleadingly, the imitator advertises with the words "patented".
3rd prize - Mercedes-Benz vehicle diagnostics "XENTRY Diagnosis" (for OBD - on-board diagnostics)
Original: Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Stuttgart, Germany
Counterfeit: Distributed by: OBD Diagnostic Tools, Fellbach (Stuttgart region), Germany
Vehicle diagnostic systems (OBD) are used for repair and maintenance. The so-called multiplexer "SDconnect" serves as the interface between the vehicle OBD socket and the diagnostic computer. The counterfeit was advertised via a website and eBay. The Stuttgart Regional Court issued a civil judgment for infringement of the "MERCEDES-BENZ" trademark, the "Mercedes star" and the "XENTRY" trademark protected for diagnostic software; criminal proceedings were also initiated. - Counterfeit
Vehicle diagnostic systems can not only be misused, e.g. to deactivate seatbelt reminders or the speed limit, but usually use outdated software without (safety) updates. Repairs and maintenance are then not carried out using the latest technology and do not offer the highest level of safety. Faults may not be detected and safety problems are possible.
Three special prizes of equal rank were awarded:
Special prize "Identity theft"
Original: WIKA Alexander Wiegand SE & Co. KG, Klingenberg, Germany
Fake: Chu Chaofeng, Shanghai, PR China (domain owner of www.wika-wika.cn) "WIKA China Website" according to the copyright notice on wika wika.cn. The catch is that this is not WIKA's Chinese website. Counterfeiting a product is brazen - stealing the entire identity of a renowned manufacturer, including photos, texts and history, is unscrupulous. It involves a lot of criminal energy: Trademark and copyright infringements, the deliberate deception of website users - and WIKA's good reputation is shamelessly exploited for their own purposes. In addition to misleading advertising with third-party brands and the sale of counterfeits via e-commerce platforms, identity theft is also on the rise. Pressure gauges are safety-relevant products - precision and reliability are crucial. This makes the mostly dangerously inferior quality of counterfeits all the more alarming. WIKA protects its intellectual property worldwide and takes decisive action against counterfeiters.
Special prize "Laziest serial offender"
Products from the D30 LPS series (pull-out) and a wide variety of components (angles, connectors, etc.)
(Application: Factory equipment, machines, systems)
Originals: item Industrietechnik GmbH, Solingen, Germany Plagiarism: Fath GmbH, Spalt, Germany "Inspiration" misunderstood. Even with technical products, there is scope for design. As one of the market leaders in modular systems for industrial applications, item has undoubtedly set various market standards for others to follow. While item and many of its competitors inspire each other and have all developed their own design language and typical individual design features, the FATH range has for years included numerous products that look confusingly similar to item products. A further development, individual characteristics or even the aforementioned innovation? Not recognizable. No amount of marketing can make a creative imitation look good.
Special prize "Counterfeit"
SD card "Volkswagen Navigation AS (V16)"
Original: Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, Germany
Counterfeit: ITPROCARS Sp. z o.o., Gdansk, Poland - sold via its eBay store A topsy-turvy world: first the counterfeit, then the original! Already 3 months before the release date of the Volkswagen navigation SD card version V16, ITPROCARS was selling counterfeit SD cards online - at almost half the price.
online - at almost half the price. Via its eBay store with top ratings (99.8% positive), the company supplies an SD card with a counterfeit V16 sticker in a cover that is based on the original but is also counterfeit, using the brands "Volkswagen" and "VW in a circle". Although the supplier admits the trademark infringements, it refuses to issue a cease-and-desist declaration with a penalty clause.
cease-and-desist declaration. Bold, but unsuccessful: the Polish counterfeiter offers Volkswagen a payment of 2,000 euros in return for the cessation of legal action. Further legal action is planned. The counterfeit VW SD cards will no longer be offered - but fakes from other well-known car manufacturers will continue to be offered.
Plagiarius Award winners 2023 from February 10 at the Museum Plagiarius in Solingen
In its unique exhibition, the Museum Plagiarius shows more than 350 Plagiarius Award winners from a wide range of industries - original and plagiarism in direct comparison.
Copyright photos: "Aktion Plagiarius e.V.", here > you will find further information.