In the fight against automotive counterfeits, the German car and truck manufacturer Daimler cooperated successfully with authorities worldwide in 2019. As the company has released, a total of more than 520 raids were initiated and supported last year; as a result, more than 1.6 million counterfeits of its own products were seized by authorities.
To combat counterfeiting, Daimler has a global setup with a department for Intellectual Property Enforcement. The company employs a threefold strategy of and preventing. For example, in-house brand protection personnel check for suspicious products at online marketplaces and trade fairs. Raids in cooperation with customs and law enforcement authorities aim to dismantle organized counterfeiting rings, as well as their production and distribution structures. Moreover, the group employs criminal proceedings as well as lawsuits for injunctions and damages. The third part of the strategy is about preventing counterfeiting and thus also about active communications: For example, Daimler offers information resources for customs and police to support officials in identifying fakes, as the company explains.
While the counterfeits often look like the genuine products, they are usually of inferior quality. Often, safety-relevant car parts such as brake discs, wheels, and windscreens are counterfeited. With a video, Daimler illustrates the consequences this can have for safety.
“Brand protection is customer protection: Our customers’ safety is our top priority. We pursue a zero-tolerance strategy towards counterfeiters. That’s why we have set up a separate department to put a stop to counterfeiting”, says Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, in a recent article by the group. Daimler had already warned of the negative effects of counterfeiting in the past and for example highlighted an increasing professionalism of counterfeiters.