A weekend stroll through a local flea market can offer up a wide array of brand names like Hugo Boss scents, Beats headphones, Kähler vases – the supply is endless and growing.
The problem is, most of that stuff is counterfeit. Copies. And their proliferation is a growing problem, according to Patent og Varemærkestyrelsen, the patent office.
At issue is not just violated trademarks and lost income. Reports from Europol show that people who deal in counterfeit goods often engage in crimes like human trafficking, arms and drug dealing or are involved in terrorism or other forms of organised crime.
Hard to spot
Leif Chortzen, the head of the Døllefjelde Musse Market said that market organisers do have some responsibility for keeping out bogus goods, but it’s sometimes a tough call.
“There is so much legislation for us to keep up with that the ones concerning counterfeit goods can get lost,” Chortzen told DR Nyheder. “Furthermore, it is completely impossible for an ordinary person to see what is a copy and what’s real. Copies are so well made today that it is very difficult to tell the difference.”
Barbara Suhr-Jessen, a senior advisor at the patent office had a few tips for what to look for in order to avoid counterfeit goods.
“If the price seems suspiciously low or if the quality is not what it should be, it’s probably a fake,” she said. “One could also question as to why such a unique item was being sold at a flea market.”