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

What are the negative effects of counterfeiting on companies?

Counterfeiting or duplication is not only harmful to the consumers but is equally detrimental for the companies. Moreover, counterfeiting not just affects big brands- assumed by many but, also decimates the business growth of small companies.

According to a report by Research and Markets, “The total amount of counterfeiting has reached to 1.2 Trillion USD in 2017 globally and is bound to reach 1.82 Trillion USD by the year 2020.”

This monstrous growth of counterfeiting is a testimony to the fact that it is badly affecting the business growth and market image of companies. Counterfeiting leads to serious problems which may even in some situations lead to a complete shutdown of businesses. Let’s discuss the major impacts of counterfeiting on businesses.

1.Drop down in sales

Counterfeiting brings down sales of genuine goods. Consider a scenario in which the counterfeit of your genuine product is sold in the market at half of its price. This will attract many consumers who are willing to buy fakes and will negatively affect the sale of your genuine products.

New research from Mark Monitor, the world leader in enterprise brand protection, has revealed that almost half (47%) of brands lose sales revenue to counterfeit or pirated goods, with one in three reporting a loss of more than 10%.

With the growth of online shopping, it has become difficult to recognize fake products. Forgers usually copy the branding and packaging of genuine products making it difficult for one to recognize fake products. The infestation of e-commerce space with counterfeits has brought down sales of legitimate companies.

2.Loss of brand reputation

Brand reputation is critical for companies across the world. A piece of negative news involving the companies name can hit its reputation badly. Similarly, a counterfeit purchased by a consumer in place of the genuine product may fail to work or worn out in a few days. This will create a wrong impression in the minds of consumers about the poor quality of the brand’s products.

It takes years of hard work and consistent consumer satisfaction to create an iconic brand image for companies.

Since word of mouth publicity plays an important role in the brand image the consumers affected by fakes will provide negative feedback on the brand. Customers may also leave negative reviews on forums and websites which further ruins the brand’s image.

3.Loss of time and money in fighting fakes

When a company finds out that they are being impacted by counterfeiting they take certain measures to fight back. However, this can be time-consuming and involves a lot of money and resources. This leads to diversion of company’s money for fighting fakes instead of investing it in other developments.

Companies suffering from counterfeiting invest a good amount of money in hiring costly legal experts and fighting legal cases for securing their products and brand from IP infringements.

E-Commerce major Amazon has taken a new initiative for fighting fakes. The online company has initiated an anti-counterfeiting move known as ‘Project Zero’ which will allow brands to directly flag and delete fake listings themselves.

What are the reasons behind the growth of counterfeiting?

Counterfeiting is a global problem which is growing on a rapid scale devouring economic growth and affecting the society badly. According to a report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office, “The value of imported fake goods rose to $509 billion in 2016, up from $461 billion three years ago.”

The report also states, “Global sales of counterfeit and pirated goods have soared to $522 billion a year, amounting to a whopping 3.3 per cent of world trade.” Different experts cite different reasons behind the growth and expansion of counterfeiting but there are a few main reasons which are responsible for its monstrous growth.

The trend of knowingly buying fakes: One of the biggest reason behind the rise of fakes is that there is a big market for it. The rise of luxury brand value has deeply steeped in the heart of millions and the only possible way to afford it is to buy a fake luxury product which satisfies one’s obsession for costly goods and is affordable at the same time. There are a large number of people buying fakes compared to the ones who unknowingly fall victim to counterfeit products. Moreover, counterfeits offer a high-profit margin for distributors and retailers compared to genuine products.

Poor IP laws and weak monitoring of supply chains: The governments in different countries need to make stringent intellectual property laws and should equip authorities with advance mechanisms to monitor supply chains. Perhaps one of the reasons behind the flourishing counterfeit business is due to the absence of these two steps. In the presence of strict IP laws, the chances of copyright violations come down drastically and curb the practice of counterfeiting. Besides, government authorities should also be equipped with advanced monitoring technologies to look out for any loopholes.

The rise of counterfeit business on the web: Nowadays, counterfeiting has intruded the online marketplace. We regularly encounter spurious websites and social media links on the web which showcase alluring deals on different kinds of products. But do we really know how the product actually looks like? According to the International Trademark Association, “Criminals prefer to sell counterfeits on the Internet for many reasons. They can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet with the Dark Web even their IP addresses can be hidden. The Internet gives them the reach to sell to consumers globally-outside of the national limits of law enforcement.”

The growth of free trade zones: Another factor behind the growth of counterfeiting worldwide is the rise of free trade zones in different parts of the world. Free trade zones provide tax advantages and other exemptions which helps to boost the economy of the host country. However, it also leads to a rise in counterfeiting and piracy as there are little checks and easy transport facilities available in these zones.

Lack of use of anti-counterfeiting technologies: Many organisations do not take counterfeiting seriously and they ridicule the use of anti-counterfeiting technologies. However, the fact is that duplication eats their business from within like cancer and at times the financial damage is huge. It is high time that organisations utilise the power of anti-counterfeiting technologies to deter counterfeiters from sneaking into their profits.

OECD warns about the rise in commercialization of fake products

According to a the latest report by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) and EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), there has been a considerable increase in the rise in the commercialization of fake products. The report states that fake and pirated goods currently have a global value of 460 billion euros which has jumped up from 338 billion euros in 2016.

The EU has estimated that 6.8% of all imports from third countries are counterfeit or pirated having a total value of 121 billion euros. It is a considerable increase when compared with the 5% estimate of EU imports stated in the 2016 report.

The companies and businesses most affected by forger and piracy have headquarters in countries like United States, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

However, an increasing number of companies registered in other economies (China, Brazil and Hong Kong) are also affected by the world trade of fake and pirated products.

The report noted that those products can come from any economy in the world, be made there directly or be introduced through a point of transit.

Source: plenglish.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

Secret society fuels the growth of fake products, cautions OECD

The overall value of counterfeit goods from dodgy handbags to knock-off watches is worth around $700 billion annually which is further bolstered by consumers on the lookout of secret societies that enjoy the thrill of quality counterfeits.

As per a new report by OECD on fake goods the business of fakes has increased over the past three years and now represents 3.3 per cent of the world trade. Its previous study put the trade at 2.5 per cent. Some of the most counterfeited products are perfumes, handbags, leather goods, clothing, footwear, watches, toys and jewellery.

Over the past three years, OECD found that more goods are being faked including artificial fur, salt, lime, cement, guitars and construction materials. “This constantly expanding industry scope of counterfeiting proves that counterfeiters apply very aggressive strategies, dynamically looking for all kinds of profit opportunities,” the OECD found.

“Moreover, this growth was reported during a period of a relative slowdown in overall world trade. Consequently, the intensity of counterfeiting and piracy is on the rise, with significant potential risk for intellectual property in the knowledge-based, open and globalised economy.”

China and Hong Kong are the main sources for fakes, but the report found there has been an increase in knock-offs of products made in both centres. “Recent psychological research illustrates a number of other motivations, such as the “thrill of the hunt” for what is fake, being part of a “secret society” and genuine interest. Buyers of counterfeit products also “try to legitimise and justify their behaviour,” it found.

Source: www.smh.com.au

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Counterfeiting is everywhere – Know the top counterfeited brands

The problem of counterfeiting has turned into a menace and is prevalent everywhere. It is increasing day by day causing brands and consumers big bucks. Counterfeiting essentially means creating fakes or duplicates of original branded products, pertaining to any and every field. Fake knockouts can range from products such as handbags and cosmetics to medicines and drugs. Continue reading “Counterfeiting is everywhere – Know the top counterfeited brands”