Versace Battles Counterfeits (and is winning)



Versace-verticalGian Giacomo Ferraris, the CEO of Versace spoke about the status of the Italian design house’s anti-counterfeiting efforts at the Luxury Law Summit in London this week. Versace’s iconic prints have been copied extensively for a long time. In fact, not terribly long ago, the design house took down a Philippine/Australian-based eBay counterfeit operation after fighting for over four years in court.

According to Ferraris, who formerly worked at Jil Sander and Kering (when it was still the Gucci Group) before his current appointment at Versace, the number of counterfeit Versace products seized by has fallen significantly over the past several years.

Ferraris cited as an explanation online customer engagement and a new, stricter approach to IP protection. He reports that more than 300,000 counterfeit Versace goods were seized in 2012, but in 2013, the number was down to 132,000. The Versace legal team is “working with local authorities around the world” and it is also implementing measures to cope with the immense challenges posed by counterfeiting online.

Ferraris said that fighting counterfeits online is especially challenging, since “online, anyone can hide their identity and it can be difficult to detect what is real and fake.” To combat online counterfeits, Versace has “devised a suit of techniques designed to protect our customers from the dangers of buying fake products…. Such measures include a web-monitoring service that allows customers to go to the Versace website and enter a product code on an item which then instantly tells them if it is real or fake.”

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