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Past victims: Where are they now?

FSB checks back in with three businesses that suffered from patent infringement and IP theft.

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Countering Counterfeiters
Countering Counterfeiters
Then: Carter Weiss, CEO of Built NY, a New York City firm that sells colorful neoprene cases for everything from wine bottles to laptops, successfully fought patent infringement by hiring private eyes and lawyers to confront copycats (FSB, March 2006).

Now: As Built NY expands globally, so does the number of international counterfeiters, who cost the business 20% to 25% of its overseas sales.

"The problem keeps growing," says Weiss, 38, who keeps three law firms busy watching out for his patents. He hopes that his firm, which now lists IP protection as its fourth-largest expense, will face fewer lawsuits in the future.

"I'd rather be choosing colors for new designs," he says. "But for now, this is part of my job."

NEXT: Raided by a big rival
Last updated April 28 2008: 9:41 AM ET