Burberry beats the counterfeiters

Most of us will have been tempted by slightly dodgy goods at one time or another. They’re far cheaper than the real thing and you can’t always tell the difference, so who wouldn’t like to grab a bargain? Well, the designers certainly don’t want you to, and that’s why they’re fighting back. Burberry has just won around £63m in a counterfeiting case, crushing an extensive network of Chinese websites that were distributing fake Burberry goods.

The Chinese-based counterfeiters had been found selling a whole range of replica Burberry products including scarves, ties and handbags, imitating the brand’s trademarks including their plaid check and equestrian knight designs and all carrying the iconic Burberry name. And it looks like it was a big operation—not only did Burberry win the case and all that cash but they also won custody of the 236 counterfeit sites that were used to sell the goods, leaving them free to shut the sites down and halt the operation in its tracks.

It isn’t just a problem for Burberry either—just last month luxury label Hermès won a similar case after appealing against 34 different websites selling luxury imitations. Counterfeiting is clearly a major issue in the fashion industry and these lawsuits just show how important design houses and the courts take such infringements, and it’s even estimated that the industry loses as much as £7.5bn every single year to counterfeit goods.

And, counterfeiting isn’t only a financial blow. It can taint the brand and doesn’t always end well for the consumer either, as they’ll be left with poor quality goods that won’t live up to expectations. So, kudos to Burberry for fighting their corner, and although it can be tempting to go for cheap alternatives it makes far more sense to save up and treat yourself instead.