By Carla Monintja
Students around the world are no strangers to Faber-Castell products. Just ask and they should be able to easily name their favourite products from Faber-Castell; or, if you look into their pencil cases, you would probably find at least one Faber-Castell product in it.
This scenario is not uncommon in Indonesia, as Indonesian students are accustomed to using Faber-Castell products, particularly for final exams where Faber-Castell pencils are recommended to shade their choices on the answer sheets. Using Faber-Castell pencils has been shown to enable answer sheets to be read more efficiently by the computer, which therefore reduces the probability of errors during the marking process.
With very saleable stationery products, Faber-Castell’s position in the market can tempt other parties to take advantage of their reputation, to reap huge profits with less effort. How? By counterfeiting Faber-Castell products, naturally. These parties imitate Faber-Castell products with imitations so sophisticated that it is difficult to distinguish the fakes from the original products if one does not know what to look out for. Subsequently, the customers will become the victims.
This was exactly what happened in Bandung, Indonesia recently.
On 5 July 2012, the National Police, the Special Investigation Unit of the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR), and the Bandung Police Criminal Investigation Unit joined forces to confiscate 3168 pencils and 280 erasers, illegally bearing the FABER-CASTELL trademark, from Multi Artha Stationery Shop. While visually similar to the originals, the counterfeits differed from the originals in terms of certain characteristics, for example:
- The diameter for the counterfeit Faber-Castell pencil lead is smaller compared to the original Faber-Castell pencil;
- The wood used in counterfeit Faber-Caster pencils has a reddish tinge, while the original Faber-Castell pencil has a natural light brown color;
When Faber-Castell Indonesia became aware of the existence of counterfeit Faber-Castell products in the market, they dealt with the matter seriously and swiftly, by making an official report to the DGIPR. The Special Investigation Unit of DGIPR, together with the National Police then helped to gather evidence and arranged for the raid.
This confiscation does not mark the end of the Republic’s war against counterfeits, and neither is it the beginning. This is merely a stepping stone in Indonesia’s efforts to curb the infringement of IPRs. To this end, the DGIPR has banded together with the Police and built a strong relationship to fight crimes against IPRs in Indonesia.
If you have any issues relating to counterfeiting in Indonesia, do let us know as we will be glad to provide advice and guidance where needed. Counterfeiting is a crime, regardless of the size of your business.