As Germany's K 2010 show nears, VDMA, the German Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association, is vowing to step up its fight against product piracy.
“The Internet makes many things a great deal more transparent — including the violation of industrial property rights,” said Marc Wiesner, product piracy expert in VDMA's legal department.
The Web works both ways, making it much easier for company officials to spot copycats but also facilitating the selling of illegal goods.
VDMA says forgers do not simply copy the original manufacturer's technology or equipment, but actually go a step further.
“The photos and advertising brochures of the original manufacturer are being used more and more frequently,” Wiesner said. “This allows the pirates to achieve the maximum result with the minimum effort, since they don't even go to the trouble of taking a picture of the imitation products or machines.”
In one case, Frankfurt-based VDMA worked with the association's office in Calcutta, India, to stop an Indian company that had copied equipment and the original pictures.