This article addresses the relationship between technology and counterfeiting in the fashion industry. Starting with an economic analysis of counterfeiting, I examine how new technologies encourage counterfeiters while at the same time provide important tools to combat it. The development of sophisticated technologies to obtain, process, and reproduce images and the extensive use of new digital channels for online sales have simplified both production and distribution of counterfeit products. Based on tagging and DNA analysis, as well as web-based monitoring systems, trace and track technologies allow rights holders to combat counterfeiting through effective control of the entire production and distribution chain. This article considers an innovative method of product monitoring based on latest-generation IT platforms, integrated with portable devices, that can easily and immediately verify product authenticity. The spread of these new technological systems is closely related to the role of a party that is glaringly absent in the battle against counterfeiting: the consumer. Indeed, new technologies are the driving element in a virtuous circle where the consumer becomes an essential instrument in the battle against counterfeiting, along with the other players involved: companies, public institutions, and civil society.
- Anti-counterfeiting technology
- Counterfeit fashion
- Fashion and the consumer
- New technologies