Counterfeiting products remains a global phenomenon and continues to intensify over-time, making it a multi-billion-dollar market that can affect any product in any industry. The rapid trade of counterfeit products around the world poses a huge business threat for not only companies, but consumers as well.
Counterfeit products are often of poor quality in addition to being inauthentic, though sadly consumers often believe they are purchasing a genuine product. When they receive defective imitations that look like your legitimate brand, it can result in negative brand perception, loss of trust, significant loss of revenue, and, in extreme cases, it can compromise lives due to flawed and hazardous materials.
The way that goods are packaged, labeled, and marked can help distinguish counterfeit parts from authentic ones. This is where laser engraving systems at TYKMA Electrox comes in, as our systems use advanced technology to permanently mark products and help your business take anti-counterfeit precautions to avoid the phenomenon as a whole.
The Basics of Counterfeiting
If you review the evidence, it’s evident that the counterfeiting epidemic has had an immensely negative impact on the economy. According to a recent report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, counterfeit and pirated goods amounted to about 3.3% of the world trade, equivalent to USD 509 billion.
Governments, businesses, organizations, manufacturers and people all over the world are affected by this shocking trend that continues to grow larger each year. Familiarize yourself with the basics of counterfeiting by taking a look at these facts:
- Just about any product or service can be counterfeited and replicated, such as handbags, clothing, currency, electronic products and parts, automobile and aviation parts, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, movies, art, toys, and just about anything else you can think of.
- Counterfeit parts can contain lead and other toxic elements, which can result in death due to accidents and poisoning. When it comes to medicine and pharmaceuticals, discontinued use case of can also occur when the items seem ineffective.
- Counterfeiters don’t pay taxes or pay their employees fair wages with benefits, and often use child labor for their production.
- Counterfeiters profit off of consumers’ desire to save money, so price can be a huge indicator of counterfeit products, along with cheap or unprofessional packaging. If the product seems out of place at a certain store or website, or the price seems too good to be true, there’s a good possibility it could be counterfeit.
- The USA is the one of the biggest countries affected by counterfeiting and the majority of pirated or replicated products are shipped in small parcels and seized by customs.
The Basics of Protecting Your Trademark
Now that you know more about counterfeiting, be sure to take a look at these key points from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, for more information on how to protect your trademark. Some highlights:
- Trademarks protect brand names and logos on products and services, helping to identify them as coming from a particular source.
- Trademarks and domain names differ. Registration with a domain name registrar does not give you trademark rights, so ensure that you cover all bases.
- Generic, simple words aren’t registrable or able to be enforced against third parties, making them the weakest type of “marks.”
- Registering your trademark through the USPTO is only effective in the United States, even if the goods and/or services are assigned an international classification number.
Registering your business’s trademark is an essential first step. In addition, laser engraving your products can help protect you from counterfeiting and keep your brand image safe.
Laser Engraving for Trademark Protection
Trademark counterfeiting is when an established trademark is placed on goods or services to resemble the authentic brand name. These unauthorized replicas aim to take advantage of high-value products, so they are marketed to look nearly identical to the original, true brand, but are made with cheap materials, resulting in more profit for the counterfeiter.
Trademarks associate products and services with specific companies and businesses, so it’s crucial that consumers know the goods they’re purchasing are coming straight from the manufacturer. Laser engraving is a popular way to combat trademark counterfeiting and prove authenticity to consumers, while at the same time protecting your business from these unwanted occurrences.
Laser engraving is a process where laser beams physically remove the surface of the material on the product or item to expose a cavity and reveal an image. This quick process is very common for personalized and customized products on almost any kind of material, including metals, plastics, painted materials, and more.
For companies, laser engraving is ideal for trademark protection because of its ability to produce precise, clean markings on items of all sizes. Whether you’re engraving logos, serial numbers, or barcodes, laser engraving is a versatile process that produces legible markings, perfect for anti-counterfeiting purposes.
Using Laser Engraving for Anti-Counterfeit Measures in a Variety of Industries
When it comes to counterfeit products, there aren’t many limitations to what products can be imitated and what industries are affected. But no matter the industry, safety and quality always remain a top priority for manufacturers.
One of the many benefits of utilizing laser engraving is that it can be used for countless applications in a diverse variety of industries. Some that have experienced the benefits of laser engraving for anti-counterfeit measures include the automotive and medical industries, which we’ll examine below.
Within the automotive industry, laser engraving can be a vital first step for quality assurance, safety, and trademark protection. One of the most important components within this industry is traceability and being able to track the auto part through its lifecycle.
There are countless automotive components capable of being laser engraved and customized to exact requirements. From gas caps to electronics to turbo chargers, laser marking of 2D codes and Data Matrix codes on these components can help increase safety and reliability, and help you protect your business from counterfeiting.
Trademark protection and anti-counterfeit measures in the medical industry are incredibly important, especially for surgical instruments. In fact, the FDA requires certain medical devices and packaging to be engraved with a unique barcode, referred to as unique device identification, or UDI.
This specifically formatted code is machine-readable and ensures that medical devices sold in the United States can be properly traced and identified. Some devices that are marked with a UDI include scalpels, scissors, clamps, needles and more. Our laser engraving systems provide extremely durable marks, capable of withstanding multiple cleaning cycles and sterilizations.
Other industries that have used laser engraving for anti-counterfeit measures include:
- Home goods
- Oil and gas
Contact TYKMA Electrox Today for Laser Engraving Solutions to Counterfeiting
Our team is dedicated to helping you protect your brand, logo, and products, so contact us today. We can help you use laser engraving to safeguard your trademark and take precautions against counterfeiting.