Send in the Clones

Counterfeits, or perhaps the nicer term, “clones” have been a problem for some time.  In 2016, Apple found that 90% of chargers it purchased directly from Amazon, which were using official Apple imagery on the product listings, were fake and even dangerous.

We have often blamed counterfeits on cheap Chinese knockoffs, but even the high quality Chinese knife manufactures are having problems.

WE Knife Co. is moving to stop the sale of clones of their 708 Karambit model.  The two primary offenders were Böker, who sold the knife as the Taifun under their Magnum line, and Adola, a wholesaler located in the Netherlands.

According to WE, both companies get the clone from the same source, a Chinese knock-off company selling the knife as OEM [original equipment manufacturer] product.  Isn’t that ironic!

OEM contracts are nothing new in the manufacturing world.  Thirty years ago both Michelin and Goodyear made Sears tires.  These tires were quality products and made money for all three companies.  Why should the knife industry be any different?  WE itself has fulfilled plenty of OEM contracts and as I understand it, started as an OEM company.

WE’s claim is the model in question copies their original design too closely. “We just do not like other companies cloning our designs and making a profit of it.”  Henk Hakvoort, Marketing VP explains.

Both Böker and Adola are cooperating by removing the offending model from their catalog, but this doesn’t solve the problem.  It seems the Chinese supplier to Böker and Adola purchases these clones from other, presumably, Chinese manufacturers not yet identified.

If you’re an American clone collector, tough luck.  Böker USA does not carry that model here and we have never sold any of them here in the U.S.

Again, clones or counterfeits are a problem in every product line.  Don’t be chump.  If you’re getting a deal that seems too good to be true, it is.  Buying one is admitting you’re all about superficial appearance and not ability and performance.