From our hometown Chicago Tribune, here’s a story by Robert Channick on how some manufacturers are fighting back against counterfeiters. One look at the poor quality embroidered patches (a story we’ve told before) should be the tip off:
Canada Goose, the trendy luxury outerwear brand, is suing a network of unnamed Chinese businesses for allegedly selling knockoffs of its pricey apparel online at steep discounts.
The trademark infringement lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in Chicago, claims “an interrelated group of counterfeiters” is marketing fake Canada Goose products on hundreds of unauthorized websites, siphoning sales from the Toronto-based company.
“Like many world-leading brands, our success has led to our products being copied by counterfeiters,” Alex Thomson, a Canada Goose spokesman, said Monday in an email. “We take the protection of our brand and its trademarks seriously, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to protect consumers from the dangers of counterfeit goods.”While the lawsuit says it is “virtually impossible” for Canada Goose to learn the true identities of the defendants, the websites share “unique identifiers” and merchandise that may not be suitable for the Iditarod — or even a cold Chicago winter day.
Founded in Toronto in 1957, Canada Goose became wildly popular after a star turn in 2004 movies “The Day After Tomorrow” and “National Treasure” and gained even more exposure when Kate Upton modeled one of its parkas on the cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
One potential way consumers can identify fake Canada Goose websites is text rife with bad grammar and misspellings, according to the lawsuit. A better way may simply be the price.
“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” the company’s website says.
Canada Goose includes a URL search tool on its website to verify authorized online retailers, and photos of manufacturing details, including a polar bear hologram sewn into every authentic product. The counterfeits may use feather mulch instead of goose down, and dog hair instead of coyote fur and have been known to misspell Canada on the signature patch, according to the company.
“Without real down and fur, the chance of frostbite or freezing becomes a real possibility,” the company’s website warns.
A federal judge in Chicago awarded rival Canadian outerwear-maker Moose Knuckles $52 million in damages last year in a similar lawsuit against online sellers of counterfeit parkas.