Jack Wolfskin of Germany has recently begun suing counterfeiters who have been selling alleged Wolfskin product on the eBay Internet site, which the company discovered through regular monitoring to uncover such illegal endeavors.
â€œThere is a huge black market out there,â€ Wolfskin spokeswoman Dagmar Blank told SNEWS. â€œBut so far, we've only been going after counterfeit sellers in Germany.â€
The Germany-based company discovered the first counterfeits in the middle of last year, Blank said, which were mostly backpacks out of Asia and the Czech Republic that make their way into Germany via Eastern Europe. â€œeBay is a counterfeiter's paradise,â€ she added.
Based on court complaints, those selling counterfeits have to sign a statement of neglect and are also responsible for any repair or replacement costs -- otherwise they end up before court. In addition, any counterfeiters discovered are forbidden from any future activity on eBay.
Wolfskin can't determine exact losses to the company, but is most concerned about the loss of the company's reputation to cheap counterfeits that fall apart, Blank said.
SNEWS View: Most companies can't keep up with the tens of thousands of products floating around that may be counterfeits, let alone track down and punish the counterfeiters. But one thing is for certain that is an ironic twist -- if counterfeiters find a brand worthy of copying, the brand must be a success. Interesting that the companies have chosen eBay as the dumping ground as well. Beyond counterfeiting, eBay is fast becoming the storm drain down which legitimate and illegitimate retailers and other companies jettison excess inventory or inventory they want to move quickly. Rather like dumping oil down a drain, you get it out of your house, but end up creating a bigger pollution problem in the process -- but we digress. More on that issue later.