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Diesel Seizes Counterfeits With Help From Technology

MILAN — Diesel issued a brand protection report for 2023, which shines a light on the company’s commitment to safeguard the label’s integrity and defend its consumers.

Since the beginning of 2023, a total of 80,000 counterfeit Diesel goods have been seized, especially in China, Turkey and Kosovo; 27,000 listings of several counterfeited goods on online platforms have been removed, and 500 knockoff of Diesel websites have been closed, stated the report issued Tuesday.

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“Counterfeiting is one of the risks that companies face when they become very successful,” said OTB Group chairman and Diesel founder Renzo Rosso. “I am very proud of how Diesel is addressing the challenge of these infringements by taking proactive measures and using increasingly advanced technologies, which we are really proud of.

The constant monitoring is aimed at protecting the brand’s creativity and intellectual property and preventing consumers from unknowingly purchasing counterfeit goods.

Throughout 2023 tens of thousands of counterfeit products have been seized globally and advertisements have been removed from global marketplaces and websites, including those that sell secondhand products.

Diesel first introduced a product authentication system with the denim collections for spring 2017, expanding it to all Diesel products as of fall 2021, equipped with a QR code and a 12-digit numeric code that create a unique digital identity. Customers can scan the QR code with their smartphones or on Certilogo’s site to confirm the authenticity of their purchase.

This has resulted in “a substantial decrease” in the number of counterfeit Diesel products, contended the report.

In addition to Diesel, OTB controls the Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander and Viktor & Rolf brands, as well as production arm Staff International and childrenswear specialist Brave Kid. It also has a minority stake in the Los Angeles-based brand Amiri.

In 2022, OTB’s turnover, including royalties, totaled 1.74 billion euros, up 14 percent compared with the previous year and net sales amounted to 1.63 billion euros, up 12 percent compared with 2021. As reported last year, Diesel at the time accounted for less than 40 percent of total sales.

OTB in 2021 joined the Aura Blockchain Consortium, which promotes the use of a single blockchain solution open to all luxury brands worldwide to help consumers trace the provenance and authenticity of luxury goods. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton  in 2019 initiated the Aura platform, later joined by Prada Group and Compagnie Financière Richemont in the Aura Blockchain Consortium, and OTB became its fourth founding member, preparing to be part of it with data inserted in the products and developing the RFID technology with its suppliers.

As reported in December last year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said as of 2018, “counterfeiting is the largest criminal enterprise in the world, with domestic and international sales of counterfeit and pirated goods totaling between an estimated $1.7 trillion and $4.5 trillion a year — a higher amount than either drugs or human trafficking.”

Megan Bannigan, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, explained that “counterfeit goods” are illegal knockoffs that imitate all aspects of the genuine product, including the genuine product’s name and design, and try to pass off as the original — in other words, a “replica” or “fake.” Unlike infringements, counterfeits are subject to both civil and criminal penalties and, in some circumstances, could pose increased dangers to consumers if they implicate health and safety.

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