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Organised Crminality Switzerland tightens up its laws on counterfeit watches

Every year at the watch fair in Basel, the subject of forgeries and copies occupies the watch industry. Jacques Duchêne, the president of the exhibitor's advisory board at the Baselworld in 2008 announced impressive figures at the fair. Over 500,000 fake watches were removed from the market in Italy and Mexico in 2007, up until the beginning of 2008. In Mexico, the authorities also found weapons and drugs together with the forgeries.

For Jacques Duchêne this is proof enough that the counterfeiters are from the world of organised crime. The successful actions of the authorities concerned came about primarily on the basis of tip-offs from the umbrella organisation of the Swiss watch industry (FH). The whole thing really is a Sisyphean task. The distribution of fake watches via the internet complicates the fight. Only every third web page which offers counterfeit watches is closed by a corresponding legal request. In 2007, the Swiss watch association were able to eliminate 35,000 online advertisements for fake watches.

In Switzerland, the revised law regarding the protection of intellectual property came into force on the 1st of July, 2008. It stipulates that the import, export and transit of counterfeit products are forbidden.