YOSHIDA & Co., Ltd.

Business division: Development Division, Product Development Department, Brand Promotion Group
Person in charge: Head of Anti-Counterfeiting Measures Office, Mr. Naohisa Haraguchi
Business category: Fashion brand bags
Issues: Counterfeit goods being sold online
Background of introducing the service We experienced the results first hand from the trial service (one-off project), and then entered into an annual contract
Deciding factor of introducing the service Level of precision and reliability of members
Effects after introducing the service 80% of the goods being sold online were counterfeit goods, but now the ratio has gone down to roughly 11%

To protect all stakeholders

YOSHIDA & Co., Ltd., known as “Yoshida Kaban”, celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2020.
The company has introduced IP FORWARD’s online protection service to protect its brand image of “high-quality made-in-Japan products” – the company’s motto ever since its foundation.
We interviewed the person in charge of the company’s anti-counterfeiting measures office on the background and effects of introducing our service.

Counterfeit goods are mainly sold on Chinese ecommerce sites

All of our products are manufactured domestically. Our craftspeople located throughout Japan are the backbone for providing high-quality products to our customers. Ever since our foundation, we have focused on making sure that all of our products are “made in Japan”. The best moment for us is when our customers tell us, “It’s reassuring that your products are made in Japan. We can use them for a long time”. It was around the 1990s when the counterfeit goods of our precious products started to appear. Back then, numerous dead copies of our popular series were being sold in flea markets. While the situation has changed some with the times, today most of the counterfeit goods are being sold on Chinese ecommerce sites. We do not have an official distribution channel in China. The counterfeit goods that are being manufactured in a state where our genuine products are not available are products that wouldn’t even be worthy of being called dead copies. The current situation is that our woven label (tag) of “Porter” is being attached to products whose designs are totally unrelated to our company. Sadly, many of the people who are purchasing the counterfeit goods being sold in the Chinese market are Japanese customers, rather than local people. A while ago, a large counterfeiting factory was exposed, and the factory was located in an area where may Japanese businessmen were residing. They purchased the counterfeit goods believing that they were genuine since they had our tag. Also from the perspective of protecting these customers, I believe that we need to put more effort into anti-counterfeiting measures.

First-hand experience of results from trial service period

We launched our anti-counterfeiting measures office in 2019. Until then, our customer center dealt with customs and held meetings with other companies to jointly expose counterfeit goods. As a result of these efforts bearing fruit, the company decided to launch a dedicated countermeasures office.
We decided to introduce IP FORWARD’s online protection service right around that time. Until then, our customer center was also in charge of taking measures against Chinese ecommerce sites, and I and some employees manually made a list of ecommerce sites that were selling counterfeit goods. But even when we requested these ecommerce sites to delete the counterfeit goods, the process stopped there. Right when we were feeling that we’ve come to a dead end, we were introduced to IP FORWARD, and decided to apply for a half-year trial service (one-off contract).
We decided to officially apply for the service since the results during the trial period exceeded our expectations, and IP FORWARD is dependable not only because they understand the features of our products and brands, but also because they are quick in responding to our requests. Our company handles around 2,000 items at any given time and it is difficult to distinguish the genuine products from the counterfeit goods, but they never miss the key points that we explained in the beginning. In addition, any counterfeit goods that we checked once are always subject to deletion from the next time onward. In addition to deleting links to counterfeit goods, IP FORWARD meets our requests of taking additional measures thereafter, such as confirming whether such counterfeit goods are being circulated to other ecommerce sites, and whether the counterfeiters have physical stores.

Level of precision and reliability of members

In effect, 80% of our products displayed on major Chinese ecommerce sites were counterfeit goods, but now the ratio has gone down to roughly 11%. The accuracy and precision of dealing with counterfeit goods and the quickness of responding to our requests – these are some of the elements that make the members of IP FORWARD truly reliable. In addition, IP FORWARD is proactive in dealing with sites that we’re not even aware of or sites in which the method of deleting links is unclear, which is also really helpful. And all of these services are included in our annual contract, so as the company’s person in charge of anti-counterfeiting measures, it’s totally stress-free for me. These are also reasons that we decided to officially use the service.
Another feature of IP FORWARD is that it shows us specific figures as our actual damages. We also hear people say things like, “The appearance of counterfeit goods is a testament to the famousness of your brand” and “There’s no end to dealing with counterfeit goods even if you delete them from ecommerce sites, right?” By presenting specific figures to these people, it makes it easier for them to understand how important it is to take anti-counterfeiting measures, and there are also internal advantages in that we can use the company’s budget for taking such anti-counterfeiting measures.

Online to offline anti-counterfeiting measures

In order to continue protecting our policy of selling domestic artisanal products, IP FORWARD is our important partner. While it is the administrative agencies that will ultimately take legal action against counterfeiters, IP FORWARD is with us every step of the way up to the final stage, responding to our requests in a flexible and prompt manner.
Going forward, our goal is to analyze and learn information online and further streamline our process, and then go offline from there so that our efforts will lead to the enforcement of physical stores and factories. In order to achieve this goal, we hope that IP FORWARD will actively share information with us, and continue to expand the scope of its services.

Related Articles

Facing any legal or business in Asia?
Call us now.

From overseas call, please dial "+81" before the phone number.
For more Information