Dr. Dre Sues “Beats By Dre” Counterfeiters for Making Billions off his Brand

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Dr. Dre will go down in history as Hip-Hop’s first billionaire, a status solidified when he sold his “Beats By Dr. Dre” headphones brand to Apple for a reported $3 Billion. But that amount is a drop in the  bucket in comparison to what Chinese bosses  are allegedly earning from counterfeit sales.

According to the lawsuit, sales of counterfeit “Beats By Dre” headphones and accessories may have topped $135 billion dollars.

The rap icon, determined to curb the sale of  forged goods, is filing suit against the owners of several pop-up websites, citing trademark infringement. It won’t be easy.

Trademark infringement and intellectual property theft is one of the major hurdles facing American businesses.

Fake versions of luxury goods can cost pennies to manufacture, but millions to track down.

Technology allows foreign manufacturers to produce convincing electronic fakes, while the internet gives the shady businessmen an elusive storefront. And doppelganger websites frequently dupe customers into thinking they’re getting the real deal, even at a fraction of the price.

The “Beats By Dre” headphones worn by the likes of Justin Beiber and Lebron James, can go for upwards of $400. On dupe sites and ebay, you can find them for $90 bucks. Hint: the $90 dollar versions are not the real thing.

Retailers have long battled foreign counterfeit manufacturers who make billions on knock-off designer bags, shoes and accessories. Chanel, Rolex, and Louis Vuitton are three of the most imitated brands, but border patrol has had much greater success seizing illegal counterfeit accessories, than they have with electronics. Manufacturers are slicker, and the products are far more convincing.

So for Dre, curbing knock-off headphones may be an impossible feat, but a noble endeavor. As long as manufacturers are making billions off of his trademark, they are in a way ‘stealing’ potential profits from the actual brand. And let’s not forget about the deplorable conditions that must exist for manufacturers to create an electronic that sells dirt-cheap. The counterfeit industry has a human toll as well.

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