Counterfeiting or falsification means the process of doing business under someone else’s name. First of all, it is the illegal use of someone else’s patent in the manufacture and sale of goods, as well as the illegal placement on its trademark of images borrowed from the signs of popular goods and firms for the purpose of unfair competition and the misleading of buyers.
At the present stage of the Ukrainian economy development, the availability of tobacco products and consumer interest in them emphasizes the need to control the quality of the products concerned.
Experts of Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise within the framework of the examination of materials, substances and products, conduct a full research of tobacco products, starting with the quality control of the raw materials used and ending with the definition of the compliance of the released product to consumer characteristics.
Important stages of the examination of the quality of tobacco products are the expert assessment of their consumer properties, safety of consumption, compliance with regulatory documents on the organoleptic and physical and chemical indicators, the terms of the contracts for which they were purchased, etc.
It is also worth noting that Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise is the only institution of our state that conducts research on the equipment of illegal laboratories manufacturing drugs and tobacco products.
It should be noted that the expert does not establish “counterfeiting”, “forgery” or their signs in the products provided for research, but compliance with their provided samples, conformity of the manufacturing technology of the product, technology, and the technology that exists in the enterprise producing such products.
In addition, it is necessary to take into account that the solution of the examination’s problems, in the process of which the properties and features of the product are investigated, belongs to different branches of special knowledge, and it is complex. So, samples of seized products are provided to the expert and include the following issues:
- Is the product provided for research counterfeit? Does it have signs of counterfeiting?
- Who owns copyright and related rights, the patent owner, and the owner of the trademark for this product?
- In which country and in what enterprise the products were manufactured?
In some cases, illegally produced “counterfeit” products differ in some respects from the original ones. It is these differences that can be detected during a comparative study by experts of different specialties (with a comprehensive examination).
To obtain a scientifically substantiated, objective and comprehensive conclusion about the difference in the products provided from samples of original products, experts of different specialties can conduct research and establish the following:
- commodity belonging to the researched objects; compliance (inconsistency) of the characteristics of the investigated objects, similar indicators of the objects provided for the research as a sample (commodity expert examination);
- compliance (inconsistency) of the packaging design samples of original products and manufacturing methods (technical examination of documents);
- compliance (inconsistency) of software products contained on the disk, samples of original (licensed) software products (computer-technical expertise).
Leading companies of the tobacco market also encourage citizens to consume tobacco products with caution, because the lion’s shares of cigarettes are fakes of original brands. Thus, the quantitative indicators of a qualitatively produced product differ considerably in the total amount of consumed units.
Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise is currently completing the installation of the equipment of criminalistics research laboratory with devices of a new generation. The high qualification and experience of experts of KFI in combination with the use of modern material and technical base will save time in identifying and researching the quality of cigarettes and in general tobacco products. Applying modern equipment and new research methods, it is unambiguous to ensure high accuracy of results, and therefore to provide reliable protection for consumers of cigarettes from counterfeit and substandard goods.