17 companies manufactured and sold counterfeit headsets. LG sued the companies and a federal court awarded LG $168 million in damages. The LG Tone is the headset that was counterfeited. Counterfeits lower profits and ruin the brand.
According to IT Business Edge, the largest source of counterfeit tech is China. A non-profit organization consisting of several tech companies called AGMA goes after four intellectual property violations – gray marketing, counterfeiting, digital IP fraud, warranty and service abuse. Microsoft, HP, and APC have board members at AGMA. AGMA recommends that customers check the manufacturer’s website for authorized distributors.
Here’s some more useful tips for avoiding fake tech products.
PC Advisor recommends the following:
- Avoid low-cost tech products – products priced less than half the retail price could be fake
- Avoid lightweight tech products made of poor materials and don’t have manufacturer badges
- Avoid tech products that are missing accessories, features, or the right color
- Avoid tech products that are only available in other countries
- Avoid tech products that don’t have a warranty
Look out for counterfeit apps as well. According to Texoma’s HomePage, a company called Footlocke uploaded fake apps to Google Play and iTunes. They appear to be from legitimate companies including Nike, Footlocker, Mizuno, and Hermes. To avoid fake apps, follow these recommendations:
- Check developer website link to see if it’s a legitimate website
- Avoid misspelled apps or apps with grammar errors
- Avoid apps that haven’t been updated
- Avoid apps that ask for credit card
- Apps that have pop-up ads may be fake