This Luxury Jacket-Maker Is Using Computer Chips to Fight Counterfeiting
Moncler, the Italian-French luxury outerwear-maker, has a plan to combat counterfeits.
The resurgent fashion label, known for its shiny and chic “puffer” jackets (one of which Drake, the Canadian hip-hop artist, wears in the video for his single “Hotline Bling”), is incorporating computer chips into its clothing. The radio frequency identification (RFID) chips will help consumers distinguish the company’s real winter wear from knock-offs.
Moncler (MONRF) plans to outfit its spring-summer 2016 collection with the technology. Customers will have the ability to scan the radio tags—as well as accompanying QR codes—using a smartphone app to determine the authenticity of their prospective purchases.
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An alphanumeric code printed on the logo-shaped label, which bears two mountain peaks and a rooster, should also match information provided on a company website, code-moncler.com.
Moncler’s high-tech tactic aims to stem a rising tide of fraudsters, especially in China, that have been aping the company’s look to profit off imitation wares. Moncler’s popular polar products often sell for thousands of dollars, making it a prime target for counterfeiters. (See this eBay (EBAY) users’ helpful guide to spotting fakes.)
For more on counterfeiting watch this video.
Moncler has battled counterfeiters before. Last month the company reclaimed 50 domain names from would-be fraudsters and cyber-squatters. And in November the firm won roughly $470,000 in a Beijing legal battle against a Chinese manufacturer that had infringed its brand. The company called the victory “the first judgment under China’s new trademark law to grant maximum statutory damages.”
Normally, the anti-counterfeit chips that Moncler is using help make wireless payments possible, as in Apple (AAPL) Pay, Samsung (SSNLF) Pay, and Google’s (GOOG) Android Pay.