Intellectual property is one of Luxottica’s most important assets, and ensures the excellence, uniqueness, and incomparability of its products. It is based on the registration and maintenance of the Group’s trademarks and patents across the world (over 950 utility, technology and design patents protected by policies, procedures and IT tools designed to identify any eventual anomalies in sensitive data flows).
Over the years, Luxottica has developed an intellectual property protection system that involves the entire Group in synergic actions in various areas in order to safeguard and enhance the work of employees and suppliers, and to protect the health and safety of consumers. Luxottica is also careful to avoid infringing on the know-how or intellectual property of other players in the market. In order to prevent risk, it benefits from a sophisticated internal control system and support from specialized external companies.
The protection of intellectual property rights also involves combating counterfeiting. The worldwide proliferation of counterfeiting not only threatens official sales channels and company reputations, it also poses risks to the health and safety of consumers. Counterfeit products do not ensure the same elevated quality standards as the originals, which in Luxottica’s case are certified by the strictest quality tests, the use of the finest materials, craftsmanship, and the constant innovation of manufacturing processes.
Iconic products like Ray-Ban sunglasses, which are always in fashion, are ideal targets for counterfeiters. Luxottica responds to this threat with constant research for new solutions that guarantee elevated comfort and functionality and make the battle against counterfeiting more effective, such as the launching of products in materials like carbon fiber, the flexibility of which is hard to replicate, and the introduction of high-performance sun lenses like Prizm and Chromance.
For greater effectiveness in the battle against counterfeiting and the expansion of parallel markets that divert goods into unauthorized sales channels, Luxottica has developed GLOW (Guaranteed Luxottica Origin Worldwide), an innovative system capable of guaranteeing the traceability of its products. Based on RFID technology, it verifies the authenticity of its products and the legitimacy of its sales channels by means of a sensor (RFID TAG) built into the iconic Ray-Ban and Oakley models. This device contains the essential information required to unequivocally identify every pair of glasses from its production site to the wholesale client where it has been sold. Furthermore, it emits no radio signals, and as such is completely safe for health, and does not record personal data.
Luxottica is also very active in international cooperation in the battle against pirating. In addition to being a member of the leading anti-counterfeiting organizations, including the INTA (International Trademark Association) and the QBPC (Quality Brands Protection Committee), Luxottica collaborates all over the world with local institutions and authorities in intercepting counterfeit products and combating the entire illegal production chain as best permitted by law. Once the main information on the flow of illegitimate products has been collected, it is possible to carry out targeted repression actions, including the intervention of law enforcement officials. Working together with the police in China, for example, Luxottica has been able to identify and take legal action against major producers of counterfeit goods. The principal objective of these actions is the possibility to retrace the supply chain in order to identify the sources of production and interrupt the flows at their origin. Over 20 million counterfeit eyewear, cases and accessories, primarily Ray-Ban and Oakley, have been seized since 2015. In 2017 alone, the Group carried out controls on products sold in 55 countries.
Lastly, the Group expends considerable effort in monitoring the online trafficking of counterfeit goods and is actively involved in removing these offers from some of the best known platforms of online auctions and reporting the websites that sell counterfeit products or violate intellectual property rights. From 2014 to 2017, the Group has succeeded in closing around 107,500 websites. In addition, on Luxottica’s website it has created a special section that informs consumers of the ways it monitors products, also enabling them to report counterfeit Ray-Ban and Oakley branded products by filling out an online form.