Welcome to part II of the blog where we delve deeper into the lawsuit battles and other measures taken up by Adidas to combat counterfeiting. If you haven’t read part I of this blog, Click here!
In 2018, the business filed lawsuits against over 29,000 online marketplaces and shops for selling counterfeit goods. It also launched partnering with government agencies and law enforcement to strengthen its anti-counterfeit efforts. These collaborations aided in the detection and closure of unlawful counterfeit production plants. The brand collaborated with customs authorities to prevent counterfeit products from crossing borders.
The same year, Adidas and Reebok sued 53 e-commerce sellers for trademark infringement, counterfeiting, and unfair competition. They also sued over 50 fake sneaker sellers for approximately $106 million.
In 2019, Adidas was granted a judgment against a group of internet companies selling counterfeit Adidas products. In September 2022, Adidas filed lawsuits against Moliydress.com and Zfllb.com in Florida Southern District Court on grounds of alleged trademark infringement.
Adidas has filed several lawsuits to stop online and offline counterfeiting. Adidas sued 83 websites selling unauthorized and counterfeit copies of their products in December 2022. The case included allegations of unfair competition, cybersquatting, and trademark infringement. Adidas requested an injunction prohibiting these websites and the companies connected with them from selling counterfeit or illegal goods, as well as payment of earnings and related damages to Adidas for each type of product sold and counterfeit trademark utilized.
While Adidas’s Legal and IP strategies have been effective, relying solely on this avenue has limitations. Not every incident of counterfeiting falls into the eyes of the legal team. A multi-faceted approach was necessary.
RFID and Blockchain Innovations in 2023
In 2023, Adidas undertook an innovative and resilient journey in response to the obstacles. Using RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags in 2023 was one of their main innovations. These tiny, integrated chips held distinct identification numbers that enabled customers to use their smartphones to scan the products to verify their authenticity. Customers’ trust in Adidas products’ authenticity has significantly increased due to this action.
Businesses that utilize the RFID tag technology to control their inventory can benefit from many advantages.
In the same year, Adidas took anti-counterfeit efforts to the next level by securing its supply chain with blockchain technology. They ensure every product can be traced back to its source by recording every step of the production and distribution process on an immutable blockchain. Transparency not only aids in the fight against counterfeit goods but also improves supply chain security.
As with any technology, there are concerns about the security of RFID and blockchain systems. Their susceptibility to weak security and hacking vulnerabilities raises questions. However, only time will reveal the true effectiveness of Adidas’ newly adopted strategies.
Adidas has persevered in the face of continuous counterfeit challenges. The fight against fake goods is about more than just maintaining brand integrity; it’s also about protecting consumers from low-quality, frequently hazardous knockoffs.
Despite the ongoing efforts, Adidas has a long way to go. A much more effective system is needed to keep counterfeits at bay and provide consumer safety. A system that combines the pros of the old technologies and new innovative measures that curb the initial inefficacies is needed. It should be used to track the supply chain, trace back through the supply chain, and empower consumers (and everyone else) to verify the authenticity.
The potential solution should be non-clonable (cannot be re-created with minimal effort) and verifiable using standard devices like smartphones. It should also be cost-effective to allow implementation across geographies and scale across drugs in all price brackets. Enabling consumers to verify authenticity and communicating this repeatedly is the only way to prevent revenue loss and deaths.
Brand protection solutions from NOOS ensure that we meet the below baselines in every product we build, namely:
Security: Product information integrity is retained without the ability to clone or tamper with.
Accessibility: Consumers can easily verify authenticity using a standard smartphone or by sending an image via messaging apps like WhatsApp.
Cost-Effective: With multiple layers of security, our solutions are cost-effective compared to conventional serialized 2D barcodes in the long run.
Convenience and ease of deployment: It can be directly printed on packaging or mono cartons, making it operationally efficient for online and offline retailers.