Quite simply, counterfeiting is illegal, dangerous and wrong.
You probably expected to read about The Counterfeit Report®, its founder, and the support staff including; a mechanical engineer, general counsel and media relations specialist, and what we do. But I thought it would make more sense to tell you about counterfeiting, because it's why we do what we do. This is an ever-evolving page simply because the counterfeit industry is ever-changing. We adapt to the changes, update the information and publish it for you and over 4000 news outlets. And who knows, we may help you avoid having the next product you buy being a dangerous counterfeit, supporting criminals or getting someone hurt.
Help keep our products safe, medications pure and economy robust by combating counterfeiters. Report fake and counterfeited products, medications, copyright or trade mark violations, and all acts of software and music piracy. Don't be deceived by fake or counterfeit products, check before you buy.
Craig Crosby, Publisher
The Counterfeit Report®
Counterfeiting is big business, a global criminal enterprise expected to top $1.7 trillion in this year says the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Counterfeit products account for 2% of all world economic output and 10% of goods sold. (International Chamber of Commerce)
What's the Harm?
Do counterfeits really hurt anyone? Yes, it's not just the fake watches and handbags, counterfeiters also manufacture many dangerous products and medications that are sold to unsuspecting consumers. Counterfeiting is a criminal activity, a federal and state crime, eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs from legitimate businesses, impacting lives and destroying the innovative efforts of many individuals and companies. You also put yourself at risk of identity theft when you shop at counterfeit internet e-commerce sites.
Counterfeit products are deceptive replicas of the real product, under someone elses name and without their permission. Everyone knows counterfeiting is illegal. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product for a profit, and usually delivering a poor quality, substandard or dangerous product. Counterfeit products include any product bearing an unauthorized representation of a manufacturer's trademark or trade name. Counterfeiters infringe on patents, trademarks, copyrights and the intensive research and development costs advanced by the legitimate manufacturers. While counterfeit products have a reputation for being low quality and may pose serious health and safety concerns to the consumer, criminals, terrorists and organized crime profit from the illegal activity. Counterfeiters do not pay taxes, meaning less money for your city's schools, hospitals, parks and other social programs.
What are the facts?
It's often published that over 500,000 people die from counterfeit medications each year. This is true in that the bulk of medication deaths are in fact from not receiving authentic medication, the most notable being anti-Malaria drugs distributed in Africa. But there are an additional 180,000 deaths in China from counterfeit medications as well as an untold number of deaths and injuries from counterfeit adulterated, diluted or fake medications.
750,000 US Jobs, $250 billion a year is lost to counterfeit products. (Senate Subcommittee on Commerce) (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)
Producers - Identifying the Source
2013: #1 China #2 Hong Kong #3 United Arab Emirates (UAE) #4 Bulgaria (European Commission)
Stopping the Flow
Only a decade ago, most counterfeit goods were shipped from overseas via large containers and then sold in the US. A huge increase in e-commerce and online shopping has changed that says the US Customs, Now, counterfeiters are selling these items through websites and shipping them directly to the consumer, making it that much harder to track and seize. To combat the new techniques, Customs and Border Protection has begun targeting and shutting down websites that facilitate these transactions.
US Customs and Border Patrol top seizures come from; China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Taiwan. The Top 5 counterfeited items seized. US Customs Seizures in $millions of dollars – unfortunately, they don’t get much of the $ trillion in counterfeits produced.
In 2007 the Chinese government arrested the director of the nation’s food and drug agency for allegedly giving approval to fake medications in exchange for cash payments. He was executed.
Enforcement Agencies and Resources in the United States
e-Commerce (The ideal platform for distribution)
Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Facebook, Craigs's List, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the internet
“People feel they have confidence in the iconic US businesses –Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Groupon, etc. -- but we see that that is misplaced when these businesses show or perform in a deceptive manner.”
Counterfeit products are often listed on e-commerce websites such as eBay and Amazon as "Authentic" or "100% genuine" and display the manufacturer's stock (advertising or catalog) images. What an unsuspecting buyer receives is a counterfeit. If you want to risk buying from un-trusted sellers on e-commerce websites, insist on an actual product photo, including serial number if available. Compare the product, color and style to an authentic item on the manufacturer's website or at an authorized retailer. While it may not be possible to identify an authentic product from a photo, it may be possible to identify a fake.
Alibaba’s absurd Anti-counterfeiting Policy
“4. If the member objects to the removal of the alleged infringing product listing, the member may submit to us an appropriate counter-notice to dispute the claim. Upon receipt of such counter-notice, we may resume the member’s listing unless we receive notice from you that an action has been filed against the member in a court of competent jurisdiction for infringement of your intellectual property rights”. 7
Amazon's Anti-counterfeiting Policy
If we determine that a seller account has been used to engage in fraud or other illegal activity, remittances and payments may be withheld or forfeited. The sale of counterfeit goods can also lead to legal action by rights holders and civil and criminal penalties.
eBay's Anti-counterfeiting Policy
We don't allow replicas, counterfeit items, or unauthorized copies to be listed on eBay. Unauthorized copies may include things that are bootlegged, illegally duplicated, or pirated. These kinds of things may infringe on someone's copyright or trademark.
German knife maker Wüsthof recently told its authorized distributors that come June 30, they can no longer store its products in Amazon's warehouses, because the manufacturer doesn't want the merchandise commingled with items from unauthorized third-party sellers, said Todd Myers, vice president of sales at Wüsthof-Trident of America Inc. Authorized Wüsthof distributors may still sell through Amazon, they just can't use its fulfillment service, meaning they have to ship purchases themselves to customers.
Alibaba subsidiary Taobao removed 114 million counterfeit listings in 10 months of 2013 Alibaba is estimated to handle 80% of all China e-commerce, and the source for 50% of all Chain mail.
Legalities & Legislation
Legislative action to create and pass laws and treaties that protect intellectual property rights and penalize counterfeiting.
National and International Standards being developed to support private industry and governmental agencies.
Dismantling the Network
Educating the Consumer
The Counterfeit Report® is an industry and corporate backed website promoting worldwide consumer awareness of counterfeit products. The Counterfeit Report offers services and support to US and worldwide companies to combat counterfeit and fake products.
"If it's too good to be true, it's probably fake."
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