Counterfeit Peppa Pig items seized by Economic Offence Wing in Mumbai

In order to fight fake products and stop the illegal use of its Intellectual Property (IP), Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. Joined hands with the Economic Offence Wing of Mumbai Police to conduct raids on businesses dealing counterfeit products of its brand Peppa Pig. A big number of counterfeit products were seized during the raids.

Anil Lale, General counsel, Viacom18 said that the Govt. of Indian has seriously taken up the issue of piracy and illegitimate use of IP over the past few years. We are proud to work with public agencies like the Department of Industrial Policy& Promotion, Maharashtra Cyber Crime Cell and Mumbai Police’s EOW in the fight against counterfeiting.

He also said that it is important to admit that the sale and purchase of fake products are serious offences as piracy and diminishes the brand’s royalty. As rightful IP rights owners, we feel it is our duty to the customers that they may not receive fake products.

Tim Pfeiffer, SVP Business Affairs, Family & Brands, Entertainment One said that eOne believes in taking vibrant brands from screens to stores and it is very encouraging to see our international partners and authorities undertake efforts that ensure only real products reach our young audience. Counterfeit merchandise is not only against the licensor’s interest but also has a colossal impact on the safety and health of the user due to the absence of quality standards.”

The Economic Offenses Wing has been fighting against counterfeit products. In the last few years, they have been able to dismantle businesses which deal in the trade of counterfeit products.

Source: Exchange4media.com

How does counterfeiting affects consumers?

Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing menace which has an evil impact on different industries. Organisations lose millions of dollars every year due to the sale of counterfeit products. The problem of duplication has sneaked in every sector. It is estimated that by 2022, the value of counterfeit and pirated goods will be around $1.90 -$2.81 trillion as per FICCI.

Most of the times the repeated attempts of organizations to fight the counterfeits have turned futile. A large amount of money and resources are spent on fighting fakes. However, it is not just the companies which are facing the wrath of counterfeit products, consumers also bear its brunt. To say it simply, there are many impacts of duplication on the consumers.

Duplication poses a significant risk to consumers. Counterfeit goods can lead to injuries, illnesses, death as in the case of counterfeit drugs. In cases where counterfeit goods cause no physical harm, consumers are harmed financially when they are duped into spending their hard-earned cash for a poor-quality fake.

Let’s discuss the negative effects of counterfeiting on consumers.

Fake products are harmful to the health of consumers: Whether it’s a counterfeit drug, counterfeit alcohol or a fake food item all are harmful to the health of the consumers. People who consume these items generally report of food poisoning, nausea, indigestion, kidney and liver ailments.

Duplicate products lead to the monetary loss of the consumers: Besides having a negative impact on health fake products also lead to the financial loss of the consumers. Every year it’s not just the companies but consumers also lose an enormous amount of money as they are duped due to fake products.

Consumers lose trust in the product and the brand: Many a time a product or a service is beneficial for the consumer but due to the sale of counterfeits original products and companies lose their credibility. This brings down the reputation of the brands in the long run and a company is not able to win the trust of the consumer again.

Counterfeits are losing sales and business in UAE

The number of counterfeit items has dropped down after Khaleej Times took a joint initiative against the presence of counterfeit goods at different locations like a raid on Karama shops.

Abdul, 40 who owns a shop for ladies’ bags and purses in Karama said that that he has faced a setback in his business. Earlier when he had opened the shop, he used to make Dh2,000 but now he makes only Dh100. Sometimes he is not able to sell a single item.

This is the third time he had opened a shop in Karama. Five years ago, the authorities had fined him Dh50,000 during a crackdown against fake products.

“After paying that hefty fine with great difficulty, I closed down my shop and went back to India for a few years.”

He further said that after paying the big fine he closed down his shop and went back to India. On the rising issue of fakes, he says, “Many years ago people used to display fake items at the counter but now they are hidden underground or inside secret basements. Many tourists still come to buy fake products they do not mind buying a copy.

Ahmad Almheiri, senior manager of the business protection department at the DED, said: “If they are selling in a secret apartment, it means they know that the DED is always in the market and that it’s hard to sell counterfeits in Dubai.”

Source: Khaleej Times

Cosmetic products in UK are the most counterfeited goods

According to a recent survey by global investigation firm Kroll, perfume and cosmetic products are the most counterfeited goods in the UK. The report states that cosmetic or beauty products were the sixth most counterfeited products after toys, chargers, clothing, bags and sports shoes.

The firm stated that duplicate consumer products are a growing part of the global economy and pose a risk to the economy and consumers. The outcomes of the counterfeit goods are dangerous and have many negative effects.

Benedict Hamilton, Managing Director at Kroll said, “We have seen how the counterfeiting of seemingly harmless clothing items such as jeans and t-shirts is actively contributing to the financing of global terrorist activity, so in addition to consumers’ health, there is also the broader world impact to consider.”

He also said that counterfeits don’t begin and end with the seller on the street; there is an entire supply chain in operation to create bogus goods and to stem the flow, we need to find the source.

On tackling the counterfeit goods, he said, “Only by following the chain of fake goods all the way up to those producing them and raising awareness of the problem, will we be able to safeguard against the potential dangers posed by counterfeits.”

Source: cosmeticsbusiness.com

The link between counterfeiting and organized crime

International law enforcement and market experts have established a close link between counterfeiting and other forms of criminal activities. It has been found that the counterfeiting business helps criminals to fuel other illegal activities and vice-versa. EUROPOL (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) has even warned that counterfeiting is an increasingly attractive avenue for organized crime syndicates to diversify and increase their illicit businesses.

It has also been found that counterfeiters use similar routes and modus operandi to supply counterfeit goods as they do to smuggle drugs, firearms and human trafficking. Profits from other crimes and illicit activities also help in the production and distribution of counterfeit goods. Many reports from different countries have established the fact that profits from crimes like drug trafficking and other crimes were used to promote the business of counterfeiting and, similarly proceeds from the sale of duplicate goods were used to promote the criminal’s other illicit activities.

One of the main reasons why criminals choose counterfeiting over other criminal activities is due to its favourable ratio between potential profits and possible risks. According to Executive Director, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Yuri Fedotov, “In comparison to other crimes such as drug trafficking, the production and distribution of counterfeit goods present a low-risk/high-profit opportunity for criminals. Counterfeiting feeds money laundering activities and encourages corruption. There is also evidence of some involvement or overlap with drug trafficking and other serious crimes.”

As per trade, reports counterfeiting is now placed amongst the highest income sources for organized criminal activities. Counterfeiting or duplication also helps in money laundering by providing a platform through which criminal organization can invest the proceeds of their illicit activities. In a nutshell, organized crime syndicates use counterfeiting as a medium to optimize their other criminal activities.

Tank Road one of the hubs for counterfeit goods as per US authorities

In a recent development, US authorities have identified Tank Road in Delhi as one of the hubs for the sale of counterfeit goods and have asked the Indian government to take coordinated enforcement action. As per the US’ Notorious Markets List 33 online and 25 physical markets reportedly are breeding grounds for the sale of fake products. A US trade representative while commenting on the report said that Tank Road in Delhi remains on the list of popular places for the sale of counterfeit goods.

Fake products are further supplied from Tank Road to places such as Gaffar Market and Ajmal Khan road. The report states that the counterfeiting activity harms the American economy by undermining the innovation and IP rights of the rightful owners. An estimated 2.5% or nearly half a trillion dollars’ worth of global imports are counterfeit and pirated products.

The US trade representative also said that the wholesalers in the area operate without any fear and build their businesses over the years. The trade representative also urged to take sustained actions on the Tank road market located in Karol Bagh, previously listed markets and other non-listed markets as well.

The 2018 Notorious Markets List maintains its special focus on the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit goods online. This year, the list highlighted free trade zones and the role they may play in facilitating trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.

Source: (PTI) Deccan Herald

FICCI welcomes U.S Government’s action against counterfeits

The US President Donald Trump recently signed a memorandum on combatting the trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods which will stop the sales of fake goods, especially on e-commerce platforms. In a statement applauding the work of US government, FICCI said that the Department of Homeland Security along with the Commerce Department, the federal agencies will create a report to curb fake goods in American marketplace within 201 days.

The report will determine the data, factors, market incentives and distortions which lead third-parties to involve in the trafficking of fake and pirated goods.

According to a study released by OECD, the business of fake and pirated products represents 3.3% of the global trade. The study also explains that the share of counterfeits has grown significantly posing a risk to the global economy. FICCI has been addressing the menace of illicit trade with regards to duplication, smuggling and piracy through its initiative CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy).

While speaking on the development Anil Rajput, Chairman FICCI CASCADE said, “This is a proactive step taken by the US President to curb the menace arising out of sale of counterfeits which adversely impacts the legal industry, government revenue and the health and safety of the people. Illicit trade also fuels organized crime. It threatens peace and stability worldwide, and hence all countries across the world must address the matter on war footing.”

FICCI CASCADE works in coordination with government, industry, enforcement agencies, media, legal experts and consumer organizations to develop awareness on counterfeiting and smuggling.

Source: Outlook India

Counterfeit goods represent 3.3% of the world trade

According to the latest report by OECD and EU’s Intellectual Property Office the trade in counterfeit goods has increased rapidly over the last few years and now represent 3.3 per cent of the global trade.

The report titled as  ‘Trends in Trade in counterfeit and Pirated Goods’ states the value of imported counterfeit goods around the world in 2016 was valued at $509 billion which increased from $461 billion in the year 2013. For the EU, the trade in fake goods represented 6.8 per cent of imports from non-EU countries up from 5 per cent in 2013.

The trade in counterfeit goods which violate trademarks and copyrights can generate profits for organized crimes at the expense of companies and governments. Counterfeit items like medicines, auto parts, toys, food, cosmetic brands and electrical goods have many health and safety concerns.

As per the report, some of the most counterfeited goods confiscated in the year 2016 included footwear, clothing, leather goods, electrical equipment, watches, medical equipment, perfumes, toys, jewellery and pharmaceuticals. Officials also pointed out that there was an increase in counterfeit musical instruments and construction materials. A majority of the fake goods originate in China, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand and India.

Source: sdcexec.com

US President signs memorandum to curb counterfeit goods

US President Donald Trump recently signed a presidential memorandum to tackle the menace of online trafficking of fake goods. The memorandum is meant to stop the sale of fake products on sites like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.

Peter Navarro Director of White House National Trade Council says, “This president has decided that it’s time to clean up this Wild West of counterfeiting and trafficking. The central core of the problem is that right now, third-party online marketplaces … have zero liability when it comes to trafficking in these counterfeit goods. That simply has to stop. We are going to attack that on numerous fronts.”

Meanwhile, e-commerce companies are also taking effective measures to stop the trade of counterfeits. Amazon spent a whopping $400 million on fighting fakes and has started brad registry and transparency program by the name of ‘Project Zero’.

However, Navarro also cleared that any possible actions by the administration to prevent online trafficking in counterfeit merchandise is premature. The directive orders the Department of Homeland security to work with other agencies on identifying the root of the problem.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that the value of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is about a half trillion dollars a year, with roughly 20% infringing on U.S. intellectual property, according to the directive.

Source: sfchronicle.com

Footwear and clothing most counterfeited goods: OECD

According to a joint report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and EUIPO (European Union’s Intellectual Property Office) the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods accounted to 3.3% of the overall global trade. However, the report cites facts and figures from the year 2016 and also does not mention about the rise of fake goods in e-commerce.

As per OECD and EUIPO, fake goods violate copyrights and trademarks, creates profits for organised crime gangs and jeopardizes the health of the consumers. The report mentions that poor screening of the small parcels, policy gaps like inconsistent penalties on traffickers and weak rules governing free trade zones can lead to the rise of fake goods.

Here are some excerpts from the report:

Top traded fake goods for 2016

  • Footwear was the topmost traded fake item at 22%, followed by clothing at 16%
  • Leather goods accounted for 13%
  • Electrical equipment for 12%
  • Watches at 7%
  • Medical equipment for 5%
  • Toys at 3%, jewellery at 2% and pharmaceuticals at 2%
  • Other industries accounted for 12% of the total fake traded goods

Origins, destinations and means

  • Majority of fake goods picked up by customs originated in mainland China and Hong Kong, along with the UAE, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand and India.
  • Countries most affected by counterfeiting were the US, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany, with targets growing in Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil and China.
  • Small parcels were 69% of the total customs seized parcels by volume from 2014-16 (57% via post and 12% via courier), up from 63% over the 2011-2013 period.

The complete report can be accessed here.

Source: Medianama