Brand Protection

The Rise of Knockoff Culture: Protecting Your Brand in the Age of #BougieOnABudget


Fueled by price rises at luxury brands and relatively easy access to fakes, more and more young consumers are turning to knockoff versions of luxury items to satisfy their desire for high-end products without the hefty price tag. Among the 22,021 people aged 15 to 24 that the EU Intellectual Property Office surveyed in 2022, 37 percent of respondents said they bought at least one fake product in the previous 12 months, up from 14 percent in 2019. 

This phenomenon is driven in part by social media, where hashtags like #bougieonabudget, #reps, and #dupes are used to promote and celebrate the purchase of counterfeit goods.

In viral TikTok and social media videos, users show duplicates, or “dupes”, of the bags they bought on Chinese cross-border sites like DH Gate, complete with a receipt and a branded dust bag. Showing others that are interested in snagging cheap copies of luxury items where and how to buy them.

The Impact of Counterfeiting on Brands and IPR Owners

Counterfeiting is a significant problem for brands and intellectual property rights (IPR) owners. In 2020, the global value of counterfeit goods was estimated to be $509 billion, with luxury goods accounting for a significant portion of that total. The impact of counterfeiting goes beyond lost sales revenue, however. Counterfeit goods can also deeply damage a brand's reputation and erode consumer trust. Furthermore, counterfeit products are often of inferior quality, potentially causing harm or disappointment to consumers who purchase them. 

The Accessibility of Counterfeit Goods

One of the main drivers of the rise of counterfeit goods is the increasing accessibility of these products. As we discuss in further depth in our post “The Rise of Social Media Impersonation and Ecommerce Counterfeiting” ecommerce platforms and social media marketplaces have made it easier than ever for counterfeiters to sell their goods to consumers. In some cases, these sellers even use the brand's own images and logos to market their products.

In a Global Intellectual Property Center survey, 84% of consumers agreed that selling counterfeit goods is a serious problem. However, many consumers still purchase counterfeit products, often because they believe they are getting a good deal or are unable to afford the authentic item.

The Importance of Brand Protection

To combat the growing problem of counterfeit goods, brand owners and IPR holders must take a proactive approach to protect their intellectual property. This can involve a range of strategies, including monitoring online marketplaces for counterfeit products, implementing anti-counterfeiting technologies, and taking legal action against counterfeiters.

In addition to these efforts, it is important for brands to educate consumers about the dangers of counterfeit products. By highlighting the risks associated with buying knockoff goods, brands can help to raise awareness and discourage the purchase of counterfeit items.

The Role of Technology in Brand Protection

The role of technology in brand protection has become increasingly more significant and necessary, with artificial intelligence (AI) being a powerful tool to combat counterfeiting. 

MarqVision utilizes advanced AI to swiftly identify and eliminate counterfeit products by leveraging image recognition and data analysis. This powerful AI technology enables brands to detect anomalies in listing information, which can indicate infringing items, thereby enabling real-time protection against counterfeit products. 

In our podcast episode, Keeping Your Brand Protected by Keeping Ahead of Technology, we talk in-depth about how brands need technology to effectively protect their IP as well as how to be more proactive in enforcing against copycats.


The rise of counterfeit goods represents a significant challenge for brand owners and IPR holders. However, by taking a proactive and multifaceted approach to brand protection, it is possible to mitigate the risks and protect the integrity of your brand. 

As a brand protection provider, we are committed to helping our customers navigate these challenges and safeguard their intellectual property rights. By working together, we can ensure that consumers have access to authentic, high-quality products and that brands can continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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