Eleven years after Frederick Mostert, former chief intellectual property counsel at Richemont, first started tackling counterfeiting in the fashion industry, he has been inducted into the Intellectual Property Hall of Fame.
Created by Intellectual Asset Management, the annual honor is given to standouts who helped develop today’s IP system. Mostert, an IP scholar, lawyer and writer, joins a group that includes such figures as Thomas Edison, Victor Hugo and Thomas Jefferson. Inductees are selected by the IP Hall of Fame Academy drawing from nominations sent in by members of the global IP community. In addition to Mostert, this year’s IP Hall of Famers include U.S. copyright scholar, lawyer and author Paul Goldstein; former International Trademark Association president and influential IP blogger Jeremy Phillips; leading Australian IP lawyer Des Ryan, and prolific inventor Nikola Tesla. Mostert was also once president of the International Trademark Association.
Mostert, one of the youngest IP Hall of Fame inductees to date, was celebrated at an event at the Four Seasons in San Francisco for his global anticounterfeiting efforts in New York, London and Beijing. He is also known for his guide, “From Edison to iPod: Protect Your Ideas and Make Money,” and serves as president of The Confucius Foundation, which helps children who are found to be working in factories producing counterfeit goods leave and get an education and boarding.
Anticounterfeiting specialist Valerie Salembier recalled how Mostert was the first “primary person in the fight against counterfeiting” in the fashion industry. The duo first joined forces in 2004 during her days at Harper’s Bazaar. Looking for a point of differentiation with Vogue, Salembier said she and the magazine’s then-marketing head Jason Lundy decided editorial coverage about the counterfeiting would help generate incremental advertising with luxury brands. Over the years, Mostert and Salembier continued to emphasize the importance of getting the public to understand that counterfeiting is not a victimless crime and one that funds all sorts of illicit activities, such as money laundering and illegal drugs. When Harper’s Bazaar held its first anticounterfeiting panel in 2004, Mostert stepped up as moderator and dressed for the occasion wearing all fake merchandise. “It was priceless. Everything he was wearing was counterfeit but he didn’t reveal that until the end.” Salembier said.
Richemont later established The Authentics Foundation to further its anticounterfeiting efforts. When staffing the foundation became an issue for the luxury conglomerate, Salembier stepped in. The Don’t Buy Fakes site that she now oversees is an offshoot of that group. While Mostert has since retired from Richemont, he remains an advisor to the company as well as to Salembier for her anticounterfeiting crusade. (He also is a research fellow at St Peter’s College, Oxford, and a guest professor at Peking University.)
Salembier is still fighting counterfeiting. In the midst of a redesign, her Don’t Buy Fakes site will be relaunched with a newspaper-type format and a video meant to help consumers spot fakes.