The most insidious kind of competition that manufacturers, especially of globally famous brand names, face is from counterfeit copycats. Counterfeiting in Europe, for example, is growing fast. Recent studies reveal that the trade in counterfeit goods in the European Union ...

By Vijay Dandige

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Published: Mon 25 Jul 2005, 2:06 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:19 PM

has risen by a staggering 900 per cent since 1999. Moreover, counterfeiters have become more sophisticated, producing an increasing number of goods from electrical items and consumables to clothing and perfumes. Most of the counterfeit products are known to come from China, South East Asia, Turkey and India. Considerable lower pricing than the originals is the main attraction for fake products.

Although no statistics are available, counterfeit products are flooding the UAE markets in a big way, misleading traders and end-users and inflicting heavy losses on genuine manufacturers.

Canon, whose consumables are now an attractive target to counterfeiters, has launched a campaign 'Be sure, be safe' to combat counterfeiting in the UAE. Says Michel Sabbagh, Marketing Manager for Canon Middle East, "A certain number of counterfeit products have been found in the Middle East region and include mainly toner and ink cartridges for Bubble Jet and Laser printers. This is a major threat to dealers and especially to their customers. Our campaign's main objectives are to educate the end-user on how to recognise genuine consumables from fake and also to help the resellers and traders to propose only originals."

Sabbagh points out that the company has created a new unique hologram for their inkjet cartridges, toners and batteries which show the word Canon running horizontally in a number of bands. In between these printer 'ribbons' users can see a helix design, also running horizontally, overprinted with the word 'genuine'. Additionally, the new hologram has a unique colour-changing feature. Front on, it should appear as an iridescent gold, but when tipped into a horizontal position, a bright, iridescent green.

Sabbagh says that the company has also introduced a credit-card sized Handy Viewer featuring two viewing windows — one marked with a moon symbol, the other with a sun symbol. To confirm that the hologram is genuine, it will appear Opaque Black through the left-hand 'sun' window. If viewing produces different results to these, the hologram may be counterfeit and consequently, the products inside the pack could be counterfeits. The Handy Viewer is available with the company's dealers. "These measures provide the consumers with increased protection," says Sabbagh. The company has also conducted, with local authorities, several raids in UAE and Egypt.

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