Be Original Americas Launched March 14, 2014

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Posted by Heidi SchwartzScreen Shot 2014-03-14 at 3.08.07 PM

Grassroots design advocacy organization Be Original Americas launched its official membership drive on March 14, 2014. Founded in 2012 to champion original design in the face of a burgeoning global market for counterfeit goods, the group’s charter members include Alessi, Artek, Bernhardt Design, Cassina/Poltrona Frau/Cappellini, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Ligne Roset, and Vitra.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce, 2.5 million jobs have been lost due to the proliferation of fake products in the global marketplace. The projected annual value of counterfeit goods is estimated to reach over $1.7 trillion1 by 2015—an alarming increase from an estimated $650 billion market value in 2008.

Recent lawsuits have made positive steps in fighting intellectual property violations, setting design-industry standards to stop trademark infringement. As its membership grows, Be Original Americas will continue its mission to educate the community about authentic, original design.

Companies, individuals, and arts and educational institutions are encouraged to join the movement to inform, educate, and influence the public on the value of original design. Members are invited on three levels: members, affiliates, and individuals. Supporters may submit information via the organization’s web site.

1 CNN Money.

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Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager. In September 2012, she transitioned to a new role dedicated to developing online content for Business Facilities and Today's Facility Manager (now Facility Executive). Schwartz can be reached at

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