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YKK’s anti-counterfeiting measures

- History -

The YKK Group began working on intellectual property issues in 1956. In the 1980s, when the scope of counterfeiting was relatively small, the IP Group led the company’s overseas anti-counterfeiting activities, mainly in some of East Asian Countries.

In the 1990s, the value of the “YKK” brand was increasingly recognized in the US and in European markets, while changes in business operations in the sewing industry accelerated. During this period of time, a growing number of counterfeit of YKK fastening products began to appear, damaging our business and our brand’s reputation. In response, other YKK business divisions of YKK joined the IP Group to face this challenge. In 1991, YKK established the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee to take the lead in anti-counterfeiting measures. As the globalization of the world economy continues, YKK is now taking action not only in countries with YKK production facilities, but also in countries that only import YKK products for local manufacture.

From 2000 to the present, YKK treats counterfeit eradication as a part of its business operations and each business division takes the lead in setting its own policy in response.

- What is a counterfeit?-

The YKK Group considers products that use any of its trademarks illegally to be “counterfeits.” The “trademark” on such counterfeits is used by a third party that does not belong to the YKK Group without obtaining the permission of YKK. Counterfeits often deceive people about the origin of the products. Furthermore, the quality of such products can never be guaranteed by YKK.

It is generally argued that a trademark can be used in three ways: (1) an indication of origin, (2) assurance of quality, and (3) advertising and publicity. A company uses a trade mark in these three different ways through long years of dedication to improving by brand value. Counterfeiters especially undermine points (1) indication of origin and (2) trademark owner and thereby gain unearned profits.

YKK’s anti-counterfeiting measures = concerted activities to protect its own brand and cooperate with customers who use YKK's brands in their products.

Through the YKK Group’s anti-counterfeiting activities, we often learn about imitations of our customers’ products which use fake YKK zippers. Our activities also support our customers’ brands and defend consumers. We try to share the information we acquire with our customers with the aim of eradicating both counterfeit YKK products and counterfeits of our customers’ products. We also exchange information with our customers who implement countermeasures against counterfeits, and we share our know-how regarding counterfeit detection at manufacturing sites and during seizures at Customs.
The YKK Group hopes that our anti-counterfeiting activities can be of help to our customers.

Reasons for eradicating counterfeits
Counterfeits diminish consumers’ confidence in manufacturers of genuine products, and they undermine brand values. In addition, counterfeits are often defective, especially when manufactured by irresponsible companies. Some counterfeiters operate illegally without proper registration. Others feed their profits into criminal organizations.

When quality is not assured, counterfeits may contain materials that are dangerous. There are laws dealing with the use of substances that are harmful to human health and safety, such as REACH in Europe and the CPSIA in the U.S. Counterfeits often do not meet these standards. Fake zippers may cause unexpected problems for businesses, including garment makers. We strongly recommend that everyone should purchase genuine YKK zippers through legitimate channels.

The YKK Group will continue to enhance the quality of our products, aiming for a level that cannot be copied by counterfeiters.

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