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Faking a Company

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the just-like-the-real-thing dept.

262

gambit3 writes "What happens when pirating a movie, an application, or a game is not enough for you? Well, you take the next step and pirate a whole company. It happened to Japanese electronics giant NEC. Counterfeiters had set up what amounted to a parallel NEC brand with links to a network of more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan."

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pooooooontang (0, Troll)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219587)

POONTANG FOR FIRST POOSTERS! bitch whore sluts. go fiddle with your lutes.

Wow, that is so cool (4, Funny)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219591)

All I can say is, wow, that is incredibly cool! What moxy! What an idea!

These guys should get a criminal Nobel or something!

Re:Wow, that is so cool (1)

Fleetie (603229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219630)

It is pretty cool.

Such audacity and such a lot of effort!

I know one guy would be proud... (0, Offtopic)

Tavor (845700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219668)

"Man has climbed Mount Everest, gone to the bottom of the ocean. He's fired rockets at the Moon, split the atom, achieved miracles in every field of human endeavor... except crime!" ~Auric Goldfinger, in the movie "Goldfinger" [imdb.com] (1964)

Re:Wow, that is so cool (1)

sendtwogrey (967794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219780)

Common business practice see ' 'RedBerry' [slashdot.org] ' for China's a recent example fair trade Policies.

Re:Wow, that is so cool (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219855)

You may feel that's the case. I'm baffled by it, to be honest.

There are a lot of "counterfieting" operations where the work involved makes you wonder why they didn't go legit. People selling "fake" iPod Shuffles, for instance, that actually work, they're just not real shuffles. Someone's taken the time and trouble to organize the manufacturing of this item, including a certain amount of R&D, for a working product. And then they proceed to spoil the entire enterprise by putting someone's else's name on it, meaning:

- they can't sell via legitimate distributors
- they can't get funding except from organized crime.
- they have to do business constantly looking over their shoulders.

Now, we're talking about creating a massive corporation. This solves the first part of the problem, but suddenly introduces brand new ones. We're no longer talking about a one-off production run of something that, once off loaded onto distributors, can be treated as a job done and, as time goes on with no knock on the door, a success that doesn't have to be worried about. We're talking about a business where you're guaranteed to get caught eventually. Your risks just went up massively. Even organized crime is going to be careful dealing with you. On top of this, you need the organizational ability and resources to hire a hell of a lot more people, which is going to be difficult to do if you either have to fool everyone in the organization that you're legit, or you limit yourself to a pool of people who don't really care about the almost certainty they'll end up in prison at the end of the game.

What the hell? If you're that skilled in business, why knock off NEC? Why not start something legitimate? Yeah, NEC's an established brand, but, c'mon!

Re:Wow, that is so cool (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219891)

The reasons you mentioned are why it doesn't happen that often (probably).

The advantages are now need for marketing, a well built up brand, and not having to provide warranties or support.

Quite simple (5, Insightful)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219894)

It is quite simple compare business case number 1:

1) Buy generic mp3 player innards off general market for next to nothing
2) Wrap iPod shuffle lookalike plastic
3) Sell as iPod
4) Profit

Compare with business case number 2:

1) Buy generic mp3 player innards off general market for next to nothing
2) Pay designer to design a cool funky faux iPodesque white plastic exterior
3) Pay huge international marketing firm to make worldwide humongously expensive marketing campaign
4) Rummage through garbage for scraps of food, use cardboard for shelter

Re:Quite simple (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219941)

You're forgetting a number of steps that I specifically mentioned in my write up:
1) Buy generic mp3 player innards off general market for next to nothing
2) Wrap iPod shuffle lookalike plastic
3) Sell as iPod
4) Profit
Let's insert 0) Raise money for (1) and (2), from investors who need a rough idea of what you're doing. This limits you to organized crime. Congratulations.

Between 2) and 3) you need to insert "2.5) Find distributors for a product who know you're not Apple but will be selling a product branded as Apple, therefore putting themselves at risks of lawsuits. This limits you to organized crime, and they'll be demanding a high margin on the products. Which they'll be selling discounted anyway. Congratulations.

4) needs to be replaced with "Get some money, pay back your investors, and hope you're not caught"

So: to recap: you're having to get your money from people who'll kneecap you if you don't pay it back. Despite the high price of the legit product, you'll be making a tiny margin, if one at all, because you're selling to distributors who will be taking a massive risk and will want to be compensated for it and who don't want to sell for the same price as the legit product, you're restricted in terms of the number of sales anyway. Where's the profit?

Your second example, of the legitimate company, is absolutely laughable. Have you seen Apple's profits lately?

Re:ZOMBIE HITLER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219948)

ZOMBIE HITLER WALKS THE FACE OF THE EARTH

LUSTING FOR THE SWEET TASTE OF JEW FLESH

WHO CAN STOP THIS UNDEAD MADMAN?

HEIL HITLER

CUDDLES FROM A DEADJEW AND SEX WITH YOUNG BOYS

LOVE FROM GNAA

"What happens when pirating a movie, an application, or a game is not enough for you? Well, you take the next step and pirate a whole company. It happened to Japanese electronics giant NEC. Counterfeiters had set up what amounted to a parallel NEC brand with links to a network of more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan"What happens when pirating a movie, an application, or a game is not enough for you? Well, you take the next step and pirate a whole company. It happened to Japanese electronics giant NEC. Counterfeiters had set up what amounted to a parallel NEC brand with links to a network of more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan mounted to a parallel NEC brand with links to a network of more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan"What happens when pirating a movie, an application, or a game is not enough for you? Well, you take the next step and pirate a whole company. It happened

This happens all the time... (0, Redundant)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219592)

Common, has anyone been to Washington DC lately? Areas outside of the US? I took a trip back in middle school to DC where people were selling "Oakley" sunglasses for 5 bucks. I think that faking a company name is done all the time. . . Oakleys, Rolexis, NEC electronics. . .the name of the game has been around for a while...

Re:This happens all the time... (2, Interesting)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219596)

Don't forget Duracell with Durasell, Dynacell, Duraking, and so on.

Re:This happens all the time... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219602)

In the future, please read the article before you waste our time.

Re:This happens all the time... (-1, Redundant)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219615)

How about I post a copy for you??

BEIJING At first it seemed to be nothing more than a routine, if damaging, case of counterfeiting in a country where faking it has become an industry.

Reports filtering back to the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese electronics giant NEC in mid-2004 alerted managers that pirated keyboards and recordable CD and DVD discs bearing the company's brand were on sale in retail outlets in Beijing and Hong Kong.

Like hundreds, if not thousands, of manufacturers now locked in a war of attrition with intellectual property thieves in China, the company hired an investigator to track down the pirates.

After two years and thousands of hours of investigation in conjunction with law enforcement agencies in China, Taiwan and Japan, the company said it had uncovered something far more ambitious than clandestine workshops turning out inferior copies of NEC products. The pirates were faking the entire company.

Evidence seized in raids on 18 factories and warehouses in China and Taiwan over the past year showed that the counterfeiters had set up what amounted to a parallel NEC brand with links to a network of more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In the name of NEC, the pirates copied NEC products, and went as far as developing their own range of consumer electronic products - everything from home entertainment centers to MP3 players. They also coordinated manufacturing and distribution, collecting all the proceeds.

The Japanese company even received complaints about products - which were of generally good quality - that they did not make or provide with warranties.

NEC said it was unable to estimate the total value of the pirated goods from these factories, but the company believed the organizers had "profited substantially" from the operation.

"These entities are part of a sophisticated ring, coordinated by two key entities based in Taiwan and Japan, which has attempted to completely assume the NEC brand," said Fujio Okada, the NEC senior vice president and legal division general manager, in written answers to questions.

"Many of these entities are familiar with each other and cooperate with each other to develop, manufacture and sell products utilizing the NEC brand."

NEC declined to identify the companies for legal reasons.

Officials from branch offices of the Chinese State Administration of Industry and Commerce in southern China confirmed that counterfeit goods carrying the NEC brand had been seized in raids on a number of factories and that investigations were continuing.

Some technology companies have been criticized for piecemeal and half- hearted attempts to protect their intellectual property, but Okada said NEC was prepared to take proactive measures to defend its brand.

NEC had not previously made public the piracy in order not to compromise its investigation.

NEC said it would continue collecting evidence to support further criminal complaints. It was also planning to start civil lawsuits against some factories while negotiating with others.

Steve Vickers, president of International Risk, a Hong Kong-based company that NEC hired to investigate the piracy, said documents and computer records seized by the police during the factory and warehouse raids had revealed the scope of the piracy.

These records showed that the counterfeiters carried NEC business cards, commissioned product research and development in the company's name and signed production and supply orders.

He said they also required factories to pay royalties for "licensed" products and issued official-looking warranty and service documents.

Some of the factories that were raided had erected bogus NEC signs and shipped their products packaged in authentic looking boxes and display cases.

NEC said about 50 products were counterfeited, including home entertainment systems, MP3 players, batteries, microphones and DVD players.

Many of these pirated items were not part of the genuine NEC product range.

The investigation also revealed that fake goods from these factories were on sale in Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

In some cases, they were being sold alongside legitimate NEC products in retail outlets.

Vickers, a former senior Hong Kong police officer, said he believed that the NEC case demonstrated how piracy is evolving from opportunistic and often shoddy copying of branded goods to highly coordinated operations.

"On the surface, it looked like a series of intellectual property infringements, but in reality a highly organized group has attempted to hijack the entire brand," he said. "It is not a simple case of a factory knocking off a branded product. Many of them have been given bogus paperwork that they say gives them the right to do it."

An official for a Chinese economic inspection team in Zhuhai in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, who would give his name only as Zeng, said the managers of one factory that had been raided insisted they had a license to manufacture NEC goods.

He said that Chinese officials were seeking clarification from NEC and that the investigation was continuing.

The counterfeiting attack on the NEC brand comes as the Chinese government is coming under intense international pressure to crack down on rampant intellectual property theft. The U.S. government and American businesses complain that the Chinese efforts to combat piracy have so far been ineffective.

Gregory Shea, president of the U.S. Information Technology Office in Beijing, which represents more than 6,000 technology companies, said it was clear that the top Chinese leaders understood that intellectual property rights contributed to economic growth.

"We commend that, but we do recognize nonetheless that the situation is not improving on the ground," he said. "It has not turned the corner."

In response to the losses suffered by Japanese companies, Tokyo has called on China to crack down on piracy.

Japan last year joined the United States in filing a formal request under World Trade Organization rules calling on Beijing to detail efforts it was making to enforce intellectual property rights.

But piracy experts say privately that strained Chinese-Japanese ties complicate Tokyo's efforts to support Japanese companies operating in China.

While intellectual property violations continue, there are clear signs that China is responding to international pressure.

In the lead-up to the visit of the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, to the United States this month, Beijing began a publicity campaign to draw attention to what it said was an intensified crackdown on intellectual property theft.

And, while Hu toured technology companies in the United States, the Chinese leader reinforced this message.

After a visit to the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle on April 18, Hu said the protection of intellectual property was crucial for China's future.

"It is necessary to create a favorable investment environment, good and fast development, and for China's own innovative capability," he said. "We take very seriously our promises to enforce our laws on this issue."

Senior Chinese officials acknowledge that trademark violations occur, but they argue that local manufacturers were sometimes duped into producing pirated goods.

At a media briefing in March, the Chinese deputy minister for customs, Gong Zheng, said many factories produced goods under license to be exported and sold under a company's brand.

"Its easy for them to be deceived or lured by foreign traders to manufacture and export infringing goods," he said.

Vickers agreed that Chinese factories were often just part of the problem.

"The factory in China sometimes appears to be the bad guy, but often the bad guy is someone behind the scenes and they are often not in China," he said.

The first phase in NEC's effort to disrupt the counterfeiters began early last year when evidence that the piracy was coordinated from Taiwan was handed over to authorities on the island.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Kaohsiung issued warrants for the local police to raid a warehouse and offices in the area where investigators seized 60 pallets of counterfeit goods, mostly audio products, carrying the NEC brand.

Evidence collected in these raids also implicated factories in mainland China, according to people familiar with the investigation in Taiwan.

Officials at the Kaohsiung District Court said the case was still under investigation.

Beginning in November, the Chinese economic authorities coordinated further raids on nine factories in the cities of Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Zhuhai and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province.

Vickers said many multinational companies were now facing similar challenges to NEC as piracy expanded and became better organized.

"The reality is that factories in China will produce what they are asked to produce," he said. "The challenge is finding out who placed the orders and who funded it."

BEIJING At first it seemed to be nothing more than a routine, if damaging, case of counterfeiting in a country where faking it has become an industry.

Reports filtering back to the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese electronics giant NEC in mid-2004 alerted managers that pirated keyboards and recordable CD and DVD discs bearing the company's brand were on sale in retail outlets in Beijing and Hong Kong.

Like hundreds, if not thousands, of manufacturers now locked in a war of attrition with intellectual property thieves in China, the company hired an investigator to track down the pirates.

After two years and thousands of hours of investigation in conjunction with law enforcement agencies in China, Taiwan and Japan, the company said it had uncovered something far more ambitious than clandestine workshops turning out inferior copies of NEC products. The pirates were faking the entire company.

Evidence seized in raids on 18 factories and warehouses in China and Taiwan over the past year showed that the counterfeiters had set up what amounted to a parallel NEC brand with links to a network of more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In the name of NEC, the pirates copied NEC products, and went as far as developing their own range of consumer electronic products - everything from home entertainment centers to MP3 players. They also coordinated manufacturing and distribution, collecting all the proceeds.

The Japanese company even received complaints about products - which were of generally good quality - that they did not make or provide with warranties.

NEC said it was unable to estimate the total value of the pirated goods from these factories, but the company believed the organizers had "profited substantially" from the operation.

"These entities are part of a sophisticated ring, coordinated by two key entities based in Taiwan and Japan, which has attempted to completely assume the NEC brand," said Fujio Okada, the NEC senior vice president and legal division general manager, in written answers to questions.

"Many of these entities are familiar with each other and cooperate with each other to develop, manufacture and sell products utilizing the NEC brand."

NEC declined to identify the companies for legal reasons.

Officials from branch offices of the Chinese State Administration of Industry and Commerce in southern China confirmed that counterfeit goods carrying the NEC brand had been seized in raids on a number of factories and that investigations were continuing.

Some technology companies have been criticized for piecemeal and half- hearted attempts to protect their intellectual property, but Okada said NEC was prepared to take proactive measures to defend its brand.

NEC had not previously made public the piracy in order not to compromise its investigation.

NEC said it would continue collecting evidence to support further criminal complaints. It was also planning to start civil lawsuits against some factories while negotiating with others.

Steve Vickers, president of International Risk, a Hong Kong-based company that NEC hired to investigate the piracy, said documents and computer records seized by the police during the factory and warehouse raids had revealed the scope of the piracy.

These records showed that the counterfeiters carried NEC business cards, commissioned product research and development in the company's name and signed production and supply orders.

He said they also required factories to pay royalties for "licensed" products and issued official-looking warranty and service documents.

Some of the factories that were raided had erected bogus NEC signs and shipped their products packaged in authentic looking boxes and display cases.

NEC said about 50 products were counterfeited, including home entertainment systems, MP3 players, batteries, microphones and DVD players.

Many of these pirated items were not part of the genuine NEC product range.

The investigation also revealed that fake goods from these factories were on sale in Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

In some cases, they were being sold alongside legitimate NEC products in retail outlets.

Vickers, a former senior Hong Kong police officer, said he believed that the NEC case demonstrated how piracy is evolving from opportunistic and often shoddy copying of branded goods to highly coordinated operations.

"On the surface, it looked like a series of intellectual property infringements, but in reality a highly organized group has attempted to hijack the entire brand," he said. "It is not a simple case of a factory knocking off a branded product. Many of them have been given bogus paperwork that they say gives them the right to do it."

An official for a Chinese economic inspection team in Zhuhai in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, who would give his name only as Zeng, said the managers of one factory that had been raided insisted they had a license to manufacture NEC goods.

He said that Chinese officials were seeking clarification from NEC and that the investigation was continuing.

The counterfeiting attack on the NEC brand comes as the Chinese government is coming under intense international pressure to crack down on rampant intellectual property theft. The U.S. government and American businesses complain that the Chinese efforts to combat piracy have so far been ineffective.

Gregory Shea, president of the U.S. Information Technology Office in Beijing, which represents more than 6,000 technology companies, said it was clear that the top Chinese leaders understood that intellectual property rights contributed to economic growth.

"We commend that, but we do recognize nonetheless that the situation is not improving on the ground," he said. "It has not turned the corner."

In response to the losses suffered by Japanese companies, Tokyo has called on China to crack down on piracy.

Japan last year joined the United States in filing a formal request under World Trade Organization rules calling on Beijing to detail efforts it was making to enforce intellectual property rights.

But piracy experts say privately that strained Chinese-Japanese ties complicate Tokyo's efforts to support Japanese companies operating in China.

While intellectual property violations continue, there are clear signs that China is responding to international pressure.

In the lead-up to the visit of the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, to the United States this month, Beijing began a publicity campaign to draw attention to what it said was an intensified crackdown on intellectual property theft.

And, while Hu toured technology companies in the United States, the Chinese leader reinforced this message.

After a visit to the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle on April 18, Hu said the protection of intellectual property was crucial for China's future.

"It is necessary to create a favorable investment environment, good and fast development, and for China's own innovative capability," he said. "We take very seriously our promises to enforce our laws on this issue."

Senior Chinese officials acknowledge that trademark violations occur, but they argue that local manufacturers were sometimes duped into producing pirated goods.

At a media briefing in March, the Chinese deputy minister for customs, Gong Zheng, said many factories produced goods under license to be exported and sold under a company's brand.

"Its easy for them to be deceived or lured by foreign traders to manufacture and export infringing goods," he said.

Vickers agreed that Chinese factories were often just part of the problem.

"The factory in China sometimes appears to be the bad guy, but often the bad guy is someone behind the scenes and they are often not in China," he said.

The first phase in NEC's effort to disrupt the counterfeiters began early last year when evidence that the piracy was coordinated from Taiwan was handed over to authorities on the island.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Kaohsiung issued warrants for the local police to raid a warehouse and offices in the area where investigators seized 60 pallets of counterfeit goods, mostly audio products, carrying the NEC brand.

Evidence collected in these raids also implicated factories in mainland China, according to people familiar with the investigation in Taiwan.

Officials at the Kaohsiung District Court said the case was still under investigation.

Beginning in November, the Chinese economic authorities coordinated further raids on nine factories in the cities of Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Zhuhai and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province.

Vickers said many multinational companies were now facing similar challenges to NEC as piracy expanded and became better organized.

"The reality is that factories in China will produce what they are asked to produce," he said. "The challenge is finding out who placed the orders and who funded it."

BEIJING At first it seemed to be nothing more than a routine, if damaging, case of counterfeiting in a country where faking it has become an industry.

Reports filtering back to the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese electronics giant NEC in mid-2004 alerted managers that pirated keyboards and recordable CD and DVD discs bearing the company's brand were on sale in retail outlets in Beijing and Hong Kong.

Like hundreds, if not thousands, of manufacturers now locked in a war of attrition with intellectual property thieves in China, the company hired an investigator to track down the pirates.

After two years and thousands of hours of investigation in conjunction with law enforcement agencies in China, Taiwan and Japan, the company said it had uncovered something far more ambitious than clandestine workshops turning out inferior copies of NEC products. The pirates were faking the entire company.

Evidence seized in raids on 18 factories and warehouses in China and Taiwan over the past year showed that the counterfeiters had set up what amounted to a parallel NEC brand with links to a network of more than 50 electronics factories in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In the name of NEC, the pirates copied NEC products, and went as far as developing their own range of consumer electronic products - everything from home entertainment centers to MP3 players. They also coordinated manufacturing and distribution, collecting all the proceeds.

The Japanese company even received complaints about products - which were of generally good quality - that they did not make or provide with warranties.

So basically we have a "Group" that is copying hardware (Products) and selling it under a well known name brand (NEC). With copyright/trademark laws being less strict in certain countries, it makes sense to try to move your product under a presteigous name.

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219634)

That show's you can copy & paste the article.

The GP was asking you to read the article.

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219649)

Ok, the article states that a "network of more than 50 electronics facotires" were chruning out these immitation products. I understand that this is probably larger and more damaging that a few fake sunglasses, but the issue is still the same. Until everyone (including China) adheres to trademark laws and such, these kinds of things should come of no surprise.

Re:This happens all the time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219799)

Did I go to school with you?

http://www.tgpo.info/ [tgpo.info]

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

cheezus_es_lard (557559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219960)

What's amusing is the amount of gravity that the statement 'a network of more than 50 electronics factories' is given. That's like saying 'he's ordered from every major online distributor in the U.S.!'. In this day of commodity everything, any of these places will manufacture whatever you want if you throw the data at them, so if anything, that just shows the length of time this scam had been running. The fact that they had placed orders with more than 50 factories doesn't make those more than 50 factories complicit in anything, just in completing orders from Bizarro-NEC.

When hub is Bizarro-NEC and the spokes are the 50 factories, that's not a network, that's one company doing business.

$0.02 deposited

Re:This happens all the time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219645)

First you waste our time. Then you decide its okay to add 9 pages to the discussion? =/

I want to moderate users, not their comments.

Re:This happens all the time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219775)

Also, in the future, you may be interested in the No Karma Bonus checkbox when replying to a personal comment :)

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

EL3CTRO (557300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219616)

People sell fake brands all the time, what the guys in the article did went much deeper than that, they developed links with other companies under the false pretense that they were NEC. They even created their own products!

Re:This happens all the time... (3, Insightful)

emotionus (657937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219617)

Some guy with a garbage bag of Sunglasses and Watches is a bit different then a company manufactoring goods on a massive scale and selling them in stores?

You know the guy with a garbage bag of the product is bullshitting you. But what if it was in the Sunglass Hut (tm) ?

Re:This happens all the time... (5, Insightful)

Cyvros (962269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219652)

Exactly. This was a very well-coordinated and well-conceived plan, not something down in the backyard. This was done in the open with, as the article noted, "official-looking documents", passes, ID cards, etcetera.

This is just taking piracy to new levels. This would have taken a lot of effort, but I'm sure that it would be increasingly commonplace in years and decades to come.

As a few people have said, slapping a bodge label on a bodge product in a bodge market is something, but producing decent-quality products, as the article infers, in proper factories and sold in proper shops and retail outlets is another.

Re:This happens all the time... (3, Insightful)

aaronl (43811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219801)

So... these people set up a company, did legitimate business, developed products, shipped and sold products. They did everything any other company does, except come up with their own name and logo.

Perhaps these "official-looking documents", passes, ID cards, etcetera, *were* official. Perhaps they were just issued by the bizzaro-NEC that was stepping on the real NEC's name. That's could still be nothing more than trademark infringment.

There is nothing here that even resembles piracy, or copyright infringment, or theft. These people used the NEC mark, and the real NEC is pissed. These guys were able to exploit the ease with which NEC could close business deals for manufacturing, or marketing a product. They have been riding in on the coattails of a large company with an established brand *by infringing their trademark*.

you're one dense amerinigger. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219834)

nT

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

emotionus (657937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219867)

Uhh.... What about the various products they "stole" - by way of not having to do the research and design needed to "Create" a product. The company did steal something. As has been pointed out, the entire operation deserves some sort of admiration however. Sure, Trademark infringement is apart of this. How else could they have done what they did without the NEC name? It may even be the biggest part because it being the only way it could have happened (possibly). However this company did steal something other then just a logo: they stole R&D.

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219911)

What about the various products they "stole" - by way of not having to do the research and design needed to "Create" a product.

Read the article... They did their own research and developed entirely new products for which no corresponding genuine NEC product existed! Which makes the whole thing all the more bizarre...

Re:This happens all the time... (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219902)

If someone comes from NEC and places a large order, and pays, what are you going to do? Ring up the national NEC number, and query it? Look for their picture on the website?

Why would you even question it, unless they came of rather dodgey.

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219919)

If someone comes from NEC and places a large order, and pays, what are you going to do? Ring up the national NEC number, and query it? Look for their picture on the website?

Well, now that this has been in the news, yes, you will to all this, and still not fully trust them!

So, in a way, NEC may have shot themselves into the foot here by making this public. Suddenly they will notice that it will be much harder to them to establish new business relationships as everybody will wrongly question their authenticity ;-)

Re:This happens all the time... (2, Informative)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219621)

No... this kind of thing almost never happens.

Usually fakers just do what you said - use the name. They don't set up an entire outsourced manufacturing base with a global distribution arm reaching as far as Africa and the EU.

Re:This happens all the time... (4, Interesting)

absent_speaker (905145) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219641)

Not quite. While Oakleys, Rolexis and other knock-offs have been manufactured for a while, this is a whole different ball game. These individuals actually lease property, negociate with suppliers and establish sales relationships in the name of NEC. They do all this under the flag of the firm's proper brand name, not some mispelling. Those are two very different scenarios. It's kind of a neat scam. It will probably inspire con-artists everywhere to try something similar. I could just imagine someone faking Hilton. They could order a large quantity of samples from a few suppliers - and pay upfront for the samples to build trust. The scammer later says they love the product and then order 5 cargo containers from each supplier on 30 days credit terms with a forged letter of credit. And then Bam! They disappear with a few million in goods to never appear again.

Re:This happens all the time... (5, Insightful)

myxiplx (906307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219653)

Read the article. They're not talking about putting a NEC brand on one or two shoddy items. They're talking about setting up a company and pirating the entire NEC image.

They were placing orders with factories using the NEC name. They commissioned R&D, their factories had NEC signs on the outside. They even designed and built their own products.

This is a huge step from the guy selling Oakley sunglasses. By faking the company and not just the product they were able to get their goods sold in legitimate outlets, right alongside genuine NEC products.

When you start to think about it, the scheme works on so many levels. Ordinarily you run a huge risk to create a factory producing fake goods and everybody in the factory shares that risk. That means it's massively expensive to set up and run, your staff are sub-standard and there's always the risk of blackmail. By creating a fake parent company and just ordering the goods from 'legitimate' factories, they bypassed all these problems. You've now got good cheap staff, proper management, and all in all a far more efficient service.

Even better, now the police can't prosecute these factories for producing the goods since they've done nothing wrong - they've just fulfilled orders as normal. Of course they'll have to stop production and will have their goods confiscated, but their insurance will cover that... The police have no choice but to go for the parent company. Fair enough you've now got to collapse that side of the operation but you've got nowhere near the costs. A few staff, some nice headed paper... sure beats loosing a factory.

Plus, you're no longer selling cheap pirated goods on the street. Instead you're able to charge full retail price.

In one fell swoop they've cut the costs of producing goods, made production more efficient, sold them at a higher price, and managed to legally insure the vast majority of their pirate production line against the risk of getting caught.

Genius, sheer genius. Yes it's illegal, but you can't help but be impressed. Somebody somewhere deserves serious Kudos for coming up with this.

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

aaronl (43811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219821)

Why should they have all those good confinscated? There should be an injunction placed on the sale of the merchandise, and they should be required to be relabelled to not violate NEC's trademark. *THERE IS NO PIRACY IN ANY FORM.* Nothing was taking from NEC, NEC lost no property or money. A company was masquerading as NEC, and taking advantage of the name. That is trademark infringment.

If they change their name from NEC to NAC or something, they should be able to keep on going doing business. Then you deal with the infringment of the NEC mark in court, and figure out what restitution is appropriate.

Also, "Kudos" is a snack bar when you use it as a proper noun. They do deserve some praise for getting their sneaky plan to dispatch with sales channel agreements and advertising from their costs, but they can buy their own food, thank you very much.

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219947)

The FA actually implied that some of the products being sold were knock-offs of legitimate NEC products. So can we quit the "There's no piracy here" meme? Copyright infringement, which is one of the definitions of "piracy" according to 99% of dictionaries for the last God-knows how many years, certainly has occurred.

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

labyrinth (65992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219952)

NEC to NAC- are you Dutch?

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219832)

Genius, sheer genius. Yes it's illegal, but you can't help but be impressed.


Firs of all, crime when organized were always coming up with quite elaborated (far from genius) schemes that inspired many art creations. The reason for existence of those "geniuses" is slackness of the government and business culture in particular region.

What is exactly so "genius" in this scheme? Since when pretending to be someone and going very far in it is "genius"? How long would it take for their unsuspecting wholesale partners to verify the identity of the entity they are dealing with? The reason they did not do that is simply this: they did not care.

In Russia, in nineties, there were similar cases in spirit manufacturing. I do not think this is something new.

Re:This happens all the time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219898)

In Russia, in nineties, there were similar cases in spirit manufacturing.

But before the nineties, in Soviet Russia, spirits manufactured you!

Re:This happens all the time... (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219835)

So here's an excellent opportunity for poetic justice - NEC should turn around and *really* order those products from the innocent factories, and market them for themselves... Someone else has very kindly done the research and product development, and the products obviouly sell fairly well. The article says the bogus NEC products were of generally good quality, so why not pirate them back??

Wait, it's coming to me now... (1)

Mille Mots (865955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219886)

True to the /. tradition, the solution for all of GM and Ford Motor Company's woes has just occurred to me:

  1. Set up pirate version of their own corporation
  2. Order parts from existing suppliers
  3. ???
  4. Profit!!
--
Sig arrêt

I have to say (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219593)

Frist Psot!

not "faking a company" (0, Flamebait)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219618)

this is called "faking a brand". To fake the company, one needs to fake offices, for starters, so people can walk up to the office with sign "NEC" on it without knowing.

Did they pretend to be NEC in wholesale deals with other businessmen and the other businessmen did not they were dealing with them? I did not find it in TA.

I do not know if previously electronics was faked, it seems to me that it happened ito happen in the past as well, so I do not think this is news of "faking a company", looks like it is the case of "faking the news".

Re:not "faking a company" (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219637)

If the involved factories indeed were producing under what they thought were real licensing contracts, then it's more than just faking a consumer brand. (Now, of course the involved factories and other parties can just benefit by claiming that they were in good faith, but there might be some truth to it in some cases, who knows?)

Re:not "faking a company" (5, Informative)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219639)

Did they pretend to be NEC in wholesale deals with other businessmen and the other businessmen did not they were dealing with them? I did not find it in TA.

Only because you didn't READ IT.

These records showed that the counterfeiters carried NEC business cards, commissioned product research and development in the company's name and signed production and supply orders.

Some of the factories that were raided had erected bogus NEC signs and shipped their products packaged in authentic looking boxes and display cases.

etc, etc

Re:not "faking a company" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219888)

Only because you didn't READ IT.

If the article wasn't embedded in flash/javascript obfuscation from hell, perhaps everyone COULD read it.

Re:not "faking a company" (2, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219651)

. To fake the company, one needs to fake offices, for starters, so people can walk up to the office with sign "NEC" on it without knowing.

TFA:
...the counterfeiters carried NEC business cards, commissioned product research and development in the company's name and signed production and supply orders.

He said they also required factories to pay royalties for "licensed" products and issued official-looking warranty and service documents.

Some of the factories that were raided had erected bogus NEC signs and shipped their products packaged in authentic looking boxes and display cases.

oops (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219743)

I guess my post was still useful, to bring upfront the relevant passages from the article. :-)

Imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery (4, Funny)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219626)

... so why does NEC seem so upset?

Re:Imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219656)

Because you won't buy NEC stuff a second time if it turned out to be crap. Now say, for a 2 dollar versace shirt you can be sure that it is fake, but I can imagine that they were selling the burnable DVDs for "expectable" prize-ranges.

The people doing this apparently have the skills to set up a whole production and distribution network, they should stop buggering other companies and start their own! Who knows, they might get somewhere with it, samsung was only a B-brand in electronics not too long ago and look where they are now! (Ok, maybe bad example since samsung is a pretty old company, but still there are plenty of possibilities to grow'

Chinese counterfits are excellent (2, Interesting)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219829)

Everytime I go to China I always buy a ton of counterfit goods. The stuff is quite often of excellent quality, sometimes even better than the original. I am talking about things like shoes, bags, clothing etc.

I am not so sure about electronics and counterfit media, except for movies, that are usually DVD rips. DVD rips actually work better than commercial DVD's as they don't have encoding on them -so no complaints there either.

I heard from a reliable source, that many western companies have been forced to enter the Chinese market by counterfitters presenting them with products identical to their own at trade fairs.

They have the choice of getting into a joint venture, or competing with a counterfitter at unequal terms. Or rather, not much choice at all.

Re:Imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219767)

Because they don't want your admiration, they want your money. Now, if there's an imitator, they have to share that money with him, while he doesn't give them any. So...

Piracy means what again? (4, Insightful)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219627)

This is not supposed to be called piracy of a company, it's a trademark violation, unauthorized and fraudulant usage of the NEC trademark. The affected factories claims that they have papers to prove that they were licensed to manufacturer the goods, but the papers were faked, which is considered fraud. The term 'piracy' has been utterly bastardized and overused already, please be more specific.

Re:Piracy means what again? (5, Funny)

jozi (908206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219673)

The misuse of the word piracy gives all us true pirates a bad name. Piracy doesn't even have to take place on the high seas anymore. Damn all sweet water pirates to hell!

Brought to you by the letter Arrrr! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219940)

Aye maties! Here be the pirate alphabet!

Re:Piracy means what again? (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219800)

Actually, it sounds a heck of a lot more like "identity theft," on a corporate level. Well, I suppose that would be trademark violation of sorts, except taken to a whole new level.

Re:Piracy means what again? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219805)

It's not just piracy. It's any word. This is the battle over memes and the transnationals (err, multinationals) are way ahead of the game. Our little voices yelling can't compete with their saturation media outlets.

Re:Piracy means what again? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219845)

Hey, let's pirate the pirate term! Once it's lost all its meaning, the RIAA will have to come up with something else.

In fact, I think it's pretty dumb to use piracy in the first place, at least while the latest hollywood movies promote the usual romantic, somewhat-evil-but-ultimatly-good-at-heart image of pirates.

Re:Piracy means what again? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219863)

Exactly what I think. We should just apply the word "piracy" to any kind of misdemeanor whatsoever. Make it a part of the common slang. Once teenagers talk about pirating apples from the neighbour's garden we can be sure that nobody will care about the oh-so-evil pirates anymore.

Re:Piracy means what again? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219852)

Maybe the founders of that fake-NEC actually used ships to enter NEC factories (probably they caused a flood to do it) in order to steal the name as well as any needed documents.

Re:Piracy means what again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219879)

its kind of like stuttering... like if i call you a stuttering bitch, chances are you are just stammering, not stuttering. stuttering is a spasmodic form of stammering where you actually can't get the words out where as stammering is just messing up a word like 'ta-ta-ta-today junior'

Re:Piracy means what again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219930)

It's more than trademark infringement, it's "identity theft". The fact that the companies thought they were working for the real NEC was the real thing that differentiated this from run-of-the-mill trademark infringement cases.

The IHT Goole AD says it all (4, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219628)

Well... The ad on the article says it all:

  • Product Sourcing
    Buy Risk Free From China IVELL - Global product sourcing
    www.ivell.com
and

  • Quality Manufacturing
    Plastic, electronics and metal UK Management, Chinese Factory
    www.motiontouch.com

More Questions anyone?

Re:The IHT Goole AD says it all (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219777)

Product Sourcing Buy Risk Free From China IVELL - Global product sourcing

Buy Risk Free From China? IVELL certainly NOT!

All i have to say is. (0, Troll)

NinjaNoh (968664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219659)

Yarr!

I suspect this is extremely common (5, Interesting)

bobamu (943639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219664)

I was looking at a chinese electronics manufacturers page some time ago, and they had a bulletin board.

One of the posts effectively consisted of "Can you make me some tv's branded panasonic and send them to north africa"

Tip of the iceberg, perhaps.

A school project (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219665)

I have wondered if we could create a company that could make the Fortune 500. The first thing would be to talk to some law faculty because we don't want to go to jail do we. The basic idea is to pay the employees in stock. The employees would, of course, be a group of my ten thousand best friends. If everyone was paid $1,000,000 worth of stock for a year's 'work', the company would be capitalized at ten billion dollars. That would make the Canada's equivalent of the Fortune 500 at least. After a year, having achieved our goal, the stock would become worthless.

Re:A school project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219695)

If everyone was paid $1,000,000 worth of stock for a year's 'work', the company would be capitalized at ten billion dollars.

Don't you capitalize on turnover not outgoings? You have a turnover of nil.

Already done here in the US... (5, Funny)

dietrollemdefender (970664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219712)

That would make the Canada's equivalent of the Fortune 500 at least. After a year, having achieved our goal, the stock would become worthless.

It was already done, here, in the US: it was called "Enron".

Re:A school project (1)

lw54 (73409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219794)

Assets = Owners Equity - Liabilities

Re:A school project (2, Interesting)

kartack (930284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219810)

I'm no legal or finical expert however, wouldn't your 10 000 friend be legally required to pay taxes on their $1 000 000 of stock? I was doing a quick look at the fortune 500 FAQ, market cap is equal to the number of shares times their value as of such and such a date. Therefore, the shares have to actually be worth $1 000 000 or you company will have a market cap of $0. If they are therefore worth $1 000 000, then your friends have each been paid $1 000 000 and would be required to remit taxes on it. Since the stock is really worthless, in that they can't sell it to anyone, they would have to use other sources of income, aka their real jobs, to pay for the tax on that $1 000 000. Good luck finding your 10 000 friends willing to do that. I don't think the taxation office takes "it was a joke" as an excuse for not paying.

You've got to pirate the right company... (0)

Centurix (249778) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219674)

1. Register slashdot.net
2. ???
3. Profit!

Why target NEC? (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219675)

Why did they go through all the motions of creating a distribution network but only pretend to be one company? And why NEC? NEC isn't really much of a player anymore in the consumer world, they are more into industrial grade manufacture and IT consulting. They still do make consumer electronics, but they hardly seem to be the companies bread and butter anymore. Nor are they dominant in the field, TFA goes on to say that some of the products weren't even close to anything NEC currently makes. Why not also claim to be Philips or Sony or Samsung?

Re:Why target NEC? (4, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219716)

i'd guess because NEC is a well known brand without having so many existing deals with retailers/distributors that it would be difficult to set up such deals for the clone company

Re:Why target NEC? (1)

NinjaNoh (968664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219724)

No one suspects a company such as NEC. If you go down to Hong Kong, and look into buying some Nike shoe or a Sony Monitor of some sort; you may be inclined to double check the product. With NEC, you basicly know that you get what you pay for. Although why pirate a company, when you could just start your own? Well it is like "How many licks will get you to the center of a tootsie pop?","What is the true motive of Google?", or "How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man?" the world will never know.

Re:Why target NEC? (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219770)

The answer is 42. 42 I say. I also say YOU FOOL!!!

Re:Why target NEC? (1)

builderbob_nz (728755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219773)

Why NEC? I'm not so sure about over-seas but here in New Zealand, NEC and Packard Bell are the same outfit. Unfortunately (IMHO) the Packard Bell brand is still popular here for cheap PCs.

Will the real slim shady please stand up? (5, Funny)

Thecarpe (697076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219679)

Hi, Bill Gates here. I'd like you to visit my new site:

http://www.m1cr0s0ft.com/ [m1cr0s0ft.com]

Suddenly it all makes sense!!! (2, Funny)

soren42 (700305) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219683)


This is exactly what Microsoft did to IBM's PC software division in the 80's!

I always knew there was *something* underhanded there, but couldn't put my finger on it.... ^_^ Contract, schwantract.... No company, not even IBM, could have been that stupid. It was all just "Corporation Piracy".

It all makes sense... DOS, CP/M, and, of course, once MS had made enough money from the theft they started taking less and less of IBM's assest - with the last partial theft in the Windows 95 + OS/2 Warp releases... from there, Microsoft could just keep heaping "original" code onto the DOS codebase it secreted away.

Ahhh, all is right in the world when everything finally falls into place!

(Disclaimer: This is a joke. Sarcasm. Humor, people. We all know the real facts..... or do we???)

Download please (1)

AndyTheSayer (965008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219685)

Ooh, piracy. So, anyone got a link to the torrent?

That's a co-incidence (5, Funny)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219690)

I've been faking being an employee for years :o)

Re:That's a co-incidence (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219866)

Have they been faking paying you?

Re:That's a co-incidence (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219870)

One did, bastards.

Neat! (3, Interesting)

mano_k (588614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219745)

And I thought the guys who claimed to work for the railway company and started removing the rails of an abandoned line not far from where I livedhad been something!

The hired local companies for transport and even distributed leaflets to the people in the neighbarhood informing them of the upcomming works! They made some money from the scrap iron before anybody noticed!

I don't trust the article... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219750)

How do we know the reporters were getting comments from the real NEC executives?

MP3 Players, too (4, Interesting)

Killshot (724273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219768)

An aquaintance recently went to China to visit a factory that makes the sony bean mp3 players. They told him they could make the players for him and just leave the sony logo off it. He then plans to sell them on ebay.

I tried to explain how bad an idea this was and how there are so many other legal ways to invest your money, but he wouldnt hear it.

Now that's an idea... (2, Funny)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219769)

So there is a use for the MikeRoweSoft name after all!

FAKE THHIS (0, Redundant)

joe coffee (946418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219784)

Hello
Actually this is a fake Hello. This post also fake. I am typing it on a keyboard disguised as a typewriter. That is also fake. My name is also fake it should read Joe Tea. No wait that is also fake.
This is also fake C YA

So which one is the real NEC? (5, Insightful)

tddoog (900095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219789)

This pirated company built existing and new products and business relationships. What if the fake company became more successful?

Just a thought. Seriously though, if I was NEC, I would try and by up the fake company and continue to operate it. you could probably get it for pennies on the dollar and you already have trained employees.

Duck? (2, Insightful)

pryonic (938155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219840)

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck?

Chain of trusted sources (5, Insightful)

RubberDogBone (851604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219856)

I'm a fan of NEC's burners and happily recommend the brand to my friends. Good stuff.

One of these friends said "Wow, I am sure am glad I get my NEC stuff from a reputable online dealer, like Newegg!"

My question is, where'd Newegg get these drives? Did their distributor vouch for the goods? How about their distributor's distributor or the originating factory?

When somebody up the chain said "I _KNOW_ these are good drives" and vouched for them, then that product carried that credential all the way to the end users and that's what we're trusting. But we don't know, really.

"It came from Newegg" might be nice sentiment but Newegg probably has no idea if they were selling fakes or not. I don't think they would knowingly do so, of course. That kind of cheap money is not worth the hassle with an IPO in the works.

DVD players (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219944)

As far as DVD players are concerned, the "fakes" are probably superior to the "originals". Here's why:

The "fake" NEC is not just a shoddy backwater pirate, they put quite some effort on the scheme. They didn't merely copy genuine NEC products, but did their own research, came up with new models with better features, etc.

The only thing they didn't have, is deals with the content industry that restrict what kind of features they may offer to their customers. Unlike a real company, the fake NEC had no reason at all to honor CSS, HDCP, ... or any other kind of annoying DRM. However, they still had an interest of pleasing the customer.

Re:Chain of trusted sources (2, Interesting)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219955)

Counterfeit goods are more likely to show up at retailers that don't buy from authorized distributors. The companies that specialize in inventory liquidations, overruns, excess inventory, etc. They can be fooled by a smooth salesman with a genuine-looking product at an attractive price. Some don't need to be fooled. They know they are selling counterfeit merchandise and do not care.

wow (1, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219861)

Many of these pirated items were not part of the genuine NEC product range.

In other words: The criminal version of "embrace and extend". Plus, of course, it avoids direct comparison which would threaten the appearance of authenticity.

Genius, pure genius.

Also note that the article says the goods were generally of good quality. I wonder if NEC - provided they had known about these before starting criminal investigations - would've simply bought them out instead, expanding its product line at the same time. :-)

Re:wow (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219884)

Why buy them out.
Come under our wing and follow our direct authority and give us all your profits or we turn you scumbags in.

Made in China (0, Redundant)

BadassJesus (939844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219878)

They does that all the time, Nike, Adidas, Reebok.. China apparel manufacturers are doing this for years. I am not surpriced to see someone taking this to the next step and pirate a brand in electronics.

Blaim foolish management of U.S. corporations that outsource whole factories to China. What happens? China is then able to duplicate high-end manufacturing itself, rebrand or even steal the brand. First U.S. lose jobs secondly they lose their mindset-technology advantage. What a ripoff.

OT: New catchphrase (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219909)

Honey, fake me a company

Format of text (5, Funny)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219932)

This article has the            ere is no need to
most hard to read               create a stupid column
format for the text             based layout. These
I have ever seen. The           guys should be shot.
web != the newspaper, th-

Re:Format of text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219977)

Your justification has failed it!

So what was the problem? (1)

nordee (104555) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219938)

"In the name of NEC, the pirates copied NEC products, and went as far as developing their own range of consumer electronic products - everything from home entertainment centers to MP3 players. They also coordinated manufacturing and distribution, collecting all the proceeds.

The Japanese company even received complaints about products - which were of generally good quality - that they did not make or provide with warranties."


So what's the problem?

Pfft. I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see it.. (5, Funny)

narkotix (576944) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219943)

And look, there's Magnetbox and Sorny.

That's nothing,... (5, Funny)

Yewbert (708667) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219950)

...there's a place near here that's doing the same thing with a whole industry/product line - couterfeit food. Luckily, they're easy to spot, all being labelled with a big bright yellow M,...
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