When Knockoffs Can Be Deadly

Thanks to modern technology, knockoffs or counterfeits are made fast. Fast may also mean defective and deadly.

Over the last ten years the world marketplace has expanded exponentially to meet the ever increasing demands of consumers worldwide. With more efficient communications, better software and technology, sophisticated equipment and greater investment in the manufacturing sector, global trade has exploded. Did you know that the Department of Homeland Security revealed that 81 percent of all counterfeits in the U.S. come from mainland China?

Most people think that the increase in availability of various goods is – well, a good thing – totally ignoring the reality that some of those goods may be counterfeit knockoffs. While the knockoffs may very well be less expensive than the originals, they are not as well made as the originals (that’s why people pay big bucks for the original in the first place.) Not worried about that? You should be, because making counterfeit items is not only illegal, it is an incredibly dangerous risk for people who buy those products later. This relates to defective products.

Generally speaking, most manufacturers do a good job of quality control for their goods. If something does get messed up, a recall will totally tank that company’s reputation and affect their sales. One only had to look at recent baby accessory recalls to know that is true. That aside, one thing is brutally clear when it comes to bootleggers or counterfeiters, most of them have no clue (nor care) what the technical niceties are when it comes to making various goods.

They don’t know how to make sure seams don’t rip, that zippers work, that baby toys won’t choke a baby or how to keep the dyes from leaching out of fake leather goods. In short, their only concern is getting something out on the market as fast as possible that looks OK and is cheap. Looking OK and cheap is one thing; whether or not that product works, will last or won’t harm someone is another can of worms entirely.

Knockoffs are not just clothing, shoes, handbags and jewelry. They can and do include things like exploding fake Zippo lighters, fake diabetic strips that may not give accurate readings and fake power cords, power strips and night-lights that may fail. While those may be the smaller things in life, there is more bad news. The latest media reports include stories about how fake/counterfeit computer components from China are winding up in US ships and warplanes. Gives one pause for thought, doesn’t it?

To learn more about David Alden Erikson, Attorney at Law, visit Daviderikson.com. Mr. Erikson specializes in Los Angeles fashion law, internet law, business litigation, trademark and copyright law.

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