Photo: Kevin Hellon /
22 May 2014Trademarks

Luxury Law Summit: Versace claims progress on counterfeits

Engagement with customers online and a stricter approach to IP protection has led to a reduction in counterfeit Versace products, the chief executive of the fashion brand said today, May 22.

Gian Giacomo Ferraris said putting in place effective IP measures was “essential” to maintain the value of the brand and protect its “loyal” customers.

Ferraris said the number of counterfeit Versace products seized at border agencies had fallen from more than 300,000 in 2012 to 132,000 last year.

Previously a problem jurisdiction, China accounted for 50 percent of items seized in 2012 but that number has fallen to just nine percent based on last year’s figures, Ferraris said.

“In the last year we have stepped up our efforts to protect the Versace brand and are working with local authorities around the world,” Ferraris said.

“IP is essential to our creative legacy,” he added.  “We cannot afford to compromise. Counterfeits corrode the brand and our brand is the most important asset we have.”

But, said Ferraris, while the figures, particularly from China, should be welcomed, there is still a major threat posed by the “wild, wild west” of the internet.

“Online anyone can hide their identity and it can be difficult to detect what is real and fake. In recent years we have devised a suit of techniques designed to protect our customers from the dangers of buying fake products,” Ferraris said.

Among the measures is a web-monitoring service that allows customers to go to the Versace website and enter a product code on an item which then instantly tells them if it is real or fake.

Ferraris said: “This has helped us protect customers more efficiently and enhanced their relationship with us.

“The customers are providing us with essential information while protecting themselves from counterfeits."

Ferraris was speaking at the Luxury Law Summit taking place in London.

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