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Protection against counterfeiting has been a sensitive issue in the wood products and furniture industry for many years. Decor counterfeiters cause an annual estimated loss that extends into the millions of euros. An increasing number of companies are investing in countermeasures – Schattdecor AG has been doing so since 2012. Just in time for Interzum 2019, surface specialists Schattdecor AG and SURTECO GmbH are unveiling a new form of copyright protection in cooperation with FiliGrade, a company that specializes in the production of customized watermarks. What makes this new method so special is that it can’t be detected by customers and counterfeiters, but will help manufacturers track down and even prosecute the pirates.
Comprehensive Copyright Protection for the Entire Industry
Schattdecor first presented decors featuring the method developed by FiliGrade back in 2017, also at the world’s leading trade show for furniture production and interior design in Cologne. And the global market leader for decor printing has incorporated copyright protection into its newly developed products ever since.
Roland Heeger, Chief Technology Officer at Schattdecor AG: “We have been working with our partner FiliGrade on the development and implementation of a new form of decor copyright protection for the past four years. The question of how to protect ourselves from the industry’s counterfeiters has been a concern of ours for many years – with the new method, we now have an answer. This method won’t completely prevent counterfeiting, of course. But with this new form of copyright protection, we are creating the legal means and the basis for successfully tracking down the counterfeiters, and even prosecuting them in court. Our intention is to offer this protection to our competitors as well in order to achieve the maximum effect throughout the industry in the form of a standardized method of copyright protection, and in doing so, help bring the counterfeiters to justice. After all, the major, reputable decor printers invest heavily in R & D to produce trendy, successful, and market-driven decors for their customers every year, and the counterfeiters take the easy way out and only counterfeit the decors after they have proven popular in the market.
The decor developer SURTECO also relies on the new method, making it the next company to take a step towards industry-standard copyright protection.
Dieter Baumanns, Chairman of the Board of SURTECO GmbH: “Each one of our competitors is faced with the same problem – counterfeiting – which is why we see the benefit in a standardized, industry-wide method of copyright protection. Ultimately, we are all pursuing a common goal: forming a united front against piracy!”
Mobile App Offers Additional Value
The implemented watermark will not only provide protection against decor counterfeiting, but will also add value for customers through their mobile device. Two years ago, Schattdecor released the corresponding app that can be used to scan the watermark to view decor information like the decor name, decor number, or collection colors on a mobile device. This is a service that the company now wants to launch industry-wide together with other competitors via an industry app.
Johann Kerver, Managing Director of FiliGrade: “The concept is similar to that of a QR code, which is embedded as a watermark in the decor. When scanned, the data is read from a server and then transmitted and displayed in the app or on a corresponding website, for example in the form of information about the decor.”
The goal of the two decor manufacturers is to give customers the ability to quickly and easily obtain information about the desired surface – regardless of its manufacturer – by viewing the company’s personalized profile and content at any time on their mobile device via a free app. Both companies agree that this “offers incredible value for both sides.”