Chernysh S. A. «Some problems of struggle against manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit production»

At present, manufacturing of counterfeit products in
Russia has become a large-scale and profitable business
with its own industrial chains consisting of customers,
manufacturers, suppliers and sellers. Construction materials,
including dry construction mixes (DCM), have also
attracted counterfeiters.

Counterfeit production and sale of counterfeit
DCM of leading domestic and foreign manufacturers
has already become an ordinary business. Most popular
products with consumer are actively counterfeited and
put on sale not only at construction markets of Moscow
and the Moscow region, but the territorial expansion of
counterfeit DCM manufacturing and sales is also going
on. Using the favourable economic situation, the increased
consumer demand, manufacturers of counterfeit
mixtures actively conquer the regions.

It should be taken into consideration that consumer
frequently is not aware of which characteristics the original
mixture should have when in use and he buys counterfeit
products. For law enforcement bodies in regions
the struggle against counterfeit dry mixes is quite an exotic
thing, as they sometimes don’t even suspect that such
kind of counterfeit exists. Therefore, «manufacturers» of
counterfeit products in the regions feel practically safe.
unlike in Moscow and the Moscow region where there is
at least some counteraction.

The range of counterfeit dry construction mixes as
well as the list of companies the products of which are
counterfeited is growing larger. The segment of expensive
mixes is utilized primarily, because insignificant
production costs and law enforcement bodies passive attitude
guarantee good profits.

Technologically speaking, the process of counterfeit
is simple enough. Simplest by composition dry mixes or
only their separate components are put in illegally made
packages in underground workshops, sometimes manually
with use of a scoop, and then are sold through small
wholesale trade at construction markets. Sellers-gastarbeiters
at construction markets just pops in for a few minutes
in a container nearby and «fixes» tile glue, plaster
mixture or self-leveling floor for the buyer from one and
the same heap of «universal» dry mix.

Such practice not only injures the image of respectable
manufacturers and reduces their incomes and incomes of the state. The practical tests and laboratory
researches show that the use of counterfeit products at
repair works may bring harm to life and health of consumers.

KNAUF company has actively and constantly struggled
with counterfeit for some years. Significant theoretical
and practical experience has been accumulated. The
struggle is organized in several directions:

•Participation in perfection of the Russian legislation
in the field of opposition to counterfeit and forged
production;
•Creation of new protective technologies for the
products;
•Informing consumers on that and cooperation with
law enforcement bodies.

Representatives of KNAUF company take active
part in all actions connected with perfection of the Russian
legislation aimed at opposition to counterfeit. It is
necessary to point out that executive and legislative
bodies start to realize the acuteness of the problem of
manufacture and distribution of counterfeit products
and take some measures. From April 9, 2007, the Federal
law on amendments to the Criminal code of the Russian
Federation has taken effect. Now the punishment
for illegal use of trade mark (clause 180 of the Criminal
Code of the Russian Federation) is toughened from 5 to
6 years of imprisonment. Therefore, this kind of crime
is transferred into the category of grave crimes. In order
to toughen the legislation in the field of struggle
against turnover of counterfeit and forged products,
a number of the State Duma deputies have prepared
a bill «On measures of counteraction to turnover of
separate kinds of products made with infringement of
requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation
» and corresponding amendments to a number of
codes and federal laws. Customs bodies in their turn
have prepared the amendments to the Customs Code,
which will entitle them to suspend customs clearance
of goods for examination. These rights will be given to
customs officers in respect to all trade marks protected
in the Russian Federation. Amendments will take effect
in 2008.

KNAUF company actively takes measures to protect
its original products using means of protection, in particular,
special marks by which it is possible to identify the
authenticity of the products. The quality marks which are
clear for consumers is an important element of protection
against counterfeit. KNAUF applies a special thermohologram
on some of its products that have already won high
reputation.

When the temperature goes up (if well rubbed by a
finger), the colour of an inscription «The Original check»
will change from violet to blue.

In addition on bags with DCM «KNAUF» marks
called «up to a second» are used. Apart from the date of
manufacture, the time of production seconds is also indicated.This way each bag with a dry mix has its individual
marks. It enables to easily distinguish the original from a
counterfeit where one and the same time is indicated. And
counterfeit bags have identical marking.

In order to inform consumers on the measures taken to
protect original products, brochures and leaflets are released
on a regular basis, a «hot» line is operated where one can take
a consultation and report of places where counterfeit products
are manufactured or sold. For attenders of the Educational
centre, the trainings are organized on how to identify
the counterfeit. That enables consumer of KNAUF products
not to fall victim of counterfeit at the stage of purchase

KNAUF company also directly participates in revealing
manufacturers and sellers of counterfeit products. Thus, with
assistance of corresponding divisions of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs some criminal cases have been already initiated.

In 2007, almost twenty dealers of counterfeit products
were brought to administrative responsibility, tens
of tons of counterfeit products were confiscated and destroyed.
It became possible due to joint actions of KNAUF
company with other manufacturers of DCM MAXIT
GROUP and UNISTROM-TRADING against manufacturers
and dealers of counterfeit products. The information
received during struggle against counterfeit products
is constantly shared by KNAUF representatives with law
enforcement bodies, colleagues from other companies and
mass media in order to draw attention to this problem.

At the same time there are no especially resolute, and
most importantly, consecutive actions on the part of executive
authorities, first of all, of law enforcement bodies.
The state goal-oriented policy is missing or at least is not
visible. It’s not possible to account for this policy separate
police operations against sellers of counterfeit audiovisual
products. Therefore, manufacturers should count first of
all on themselves, for example, unite in struggle against
counterfeit products tradewise, which has been already
done by companies struggling against audio- and video
pirates, and they achieved some positive results.

The hope that the problem of counterfeit construction
mixes will solve by itself should not be nourished. The
persistent work both with consumer and law enforcement
bodies as well as legislative power is required.


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