A new exhibit is opening at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, called “Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits.” This exhibit is exploring the history of authorized and unauthorized copies of high end designs. The exhibit explores not only counterfeit pieces, but also licensed copies.
Assistant Curator of Costume and Textiles at the FIT Museum, Ariele Elia, explained to Blouin ArtInfo, that the recent copyright/trademark litigation increase in the fashion industry sparked her interest in creating this show.
She explained that the current hot topic of fashion law “made [her] think back to the 1950s when designers started licensing out couture copies and raising questions about authenticity.” An example of this phenomenon on display is an authentic Chanel tweed suit from the 1950s and a licensed copy, which look identical.
She goes on to explain that while many think that copying of designs is black and white, there is a lot of shades of grey about what is original, what is a licensed copy, and what is counterfeit.
It seems LVMH just doesn’t want to stay out of the headlines. But, like the Hermès/LVMH dispute, the dispute between LVMH and Google was settled amicably.
The luxury conglomerate released a statement on Thursday stating it was ending its legal dispute against Google and that the two parties signed an agreement committing to jointly “tackle the advertising and sale of counterfeit goods online.”
This settlement stems from a dispute that began in 2003 when LVMH sued Google in France over Internet searches linked to specific trademarked names. LVMH claimed that Google searches produced links to websites that sold counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Dior products.
LVMH had filed suit, arguing that Google should be held liable because advertisers were able to buy keywords that corresponded with trademarks, thus allowing this advertisers to trade on the goodwill of the trademark, such as Louis Vuitton or Dior.
Kering SA, one of the largest luxury goods conglomerates, is teaming up with China’s largest e-commerce retailer, Alibaba, to combat against the sales of counterfeit products on the e-commerce site. This collaboration comes after Kering dropped its lawsuit against Alibaba, which claimed trademark infringement and that Alibaba made it possible for fakes to be sold worldwide. The lawsuit claimed that fakes of Kering brands, including Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent, are often sold on the e-commerce platforms of Alibaba.
In an attempt to crack down on the proliferation of fakes being sold on its site, Alibaba has banned listings that infringe on trademark and copyright rights and has forced sellers to make deposits and use a ratings system. However, it seems the sell of counterfeit products continues, and Kering and Alibaba have decided to work together to combat the counterfeit products sold on the site. What sort of procedures that will be implemented to fight the sale of fakes has yet to be revealed.