The battles fought against fakes by the music, film, textile and luxury goods industries are well known. The recent drastic increases in counterfeit pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and personal-care products are particularly alarming due to the imminent health dangers they impose. The same applies to the growing number of seized children’s toys and electrical equipment. In 2008 more than 180 million counterfeit and pirated goods with an estimated value of 15 Billion Euros were seized by customs authorities in the EU only, an increase of 125 % to 2007.  

The increased profitability of counterfeiting and piracy has attracted international criminal organisations, making this a truly dangerous phenomenon. Even terrorist groups are suspected of financing their activity with money from trade with counterfeit and pirated goods.

Counterfeiting and piracy evolves persistently with emerging trends and technology. The fact that the high quality of fakes often makes identification impossible without technical expertise increases the challenges customs face. This means right holders must remain one step ahead. For legitimate businesses, the harmful effects of counterfeiting and piracy are not only manifested in lost sales.


 

The damage caused to trademarks and goodwill is also apparent, but difficult to estimate in financial terms, and even more difficult to recover.

For legitimate businesses, the harmful effects of counterfeiting and piracy are not only manifested in lost sales. The damage caused to trademarks and goodwill is also apparent, but difficult to estimate in financial terms, and even more difficult to recover.

For statistics see EU Report 2008 (PDF)

 

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