Shimano is launching a program to curb the sale of counterfeit products, which includes promises to work with criminal investigations and file civil suits against manufacturers and distributors of counterfeit Shimano gear.
The company also said it is creating packaging technology that is difficult to counterfeit and adding QR code labels to packaging. A smartphone app will be able to confirm that a product is authentic by reading the code. Initially the QR label and app will function in Japan and China and be used on pedal and cleat packaging. The company said it will expand the program to other countries and other products.
The code will be printed on a double-layered label on the packaging and include a unique serial number. To view the code, the label’s outer seal must be opened. To prevent counterfeiters from duplicating the codes, a code will be marked as inauthentic after is read more than three times, and the codes expire after a time.
“In recent years, we have confirmed that counterfeit goods of Shimano Group products and repair parts have been circulating around the world. As counterfeit goods not only cause quality problems (such as accidents and injuries) for the general customers but also lead to detriments for our customers and business partners, we will take a firm stance to eliminate counterfeit goods,” the company said.
In addition to the steps above, Shimano said it will provide information to customs authorities to facilitate crackdowns on counterfeit goods, will request the removal of counterfeit goods from e-commerce websites and will provide warnings to consumers and retailers.
Shimano said it will introduce its new special packaging on cleats and pedals in May. It said the packaging material will be difficult to duplicate while also environmentally appropriate.
This article was first published in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (USA)