App rewards consumers for counterfeiting leads

today Sep 17, 2012
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And if the main asset in the fight against counterfeiting were ultimately the customers themselves? That was the question a U.S. company started with in developing a mobile application for reporting pirated and counterfeit goods. 

A search warrant for fake Gucci shoes on the Brand Bounty app

The company BrandBounty presented its concept earlier this week, which aims to turn consumers into "brand vigilantes" (or "trademarks protectors"). And because the hunt for counterfeiters is not very widespread, the application provides users with prizes sponsored by brands or ways to earn shopping points. 

The process is simple: a user posts a photo and description of the suspicious product through the app, also indicating the item's whereabouts. The application is currently available for iPhone, with an Android version to be released soon. 

In the United States, the cost of counterfeiting last year was somewhere between 1.2 and 1.7 billion dollars. Last July, 70 websites were blocked by U.S. authorities for selling counterfeit goods. In France, customs seized more than 9 million counterfeit products in 2011, an increase of 42% compared to the previous year.

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