World Anti-Counterfeiting Day is celebrating its 18th year of fighting against counterfeit products and creating awareness about the costs associated with buying fakes. Criminals are exploiting consumers and supplying cheap, illegal counterfeits that pose serious consequences to society. These products are manufactured illegally without a trademark owner’s consent, with the intent to copy a genuine brand and deceive the consumer.
Counterfeiting and piracy is a global problem with the latest OECD report on trade in counterfeit and pirated goods indicating that trade of fake goods has increased by over 80% in a 5 year period. Pirated goods represent more than 2.5% of all world trade.
Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) runs an awareness programme to help show that “fakes cost more” not less, despite the lower shelf price of some counterfeits. Fakes can carry significant health and safety risks, even endangering lives in the case of counterfeit medicines, auto and airplane parts, as well as many other types of products.
Workers for legitimate manufacturing companies lose their jobs to counterfeit producers and the money from of counterfeits goods goes to organised criminal networks.
The World Anti-Counterfeiting Day campaign’s website (www.ibuyreal.org) gives consumers more information about the costs of buying fake goods and what every individual can do to stop this growing problem. Consumers can also learn how to spot fakes and report intellectual property theft.