The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) reported that international trade in counterfeit and pirated products is now worth up to €338 billion (approx. £300 billion)
With many consumers looking for a bargain and with a hard demand for everything to be online, brands, businesses and consumers are now finding the digital world flooded with fake goods.
Not only do these infringements of intellectual property (IP) affect brand reputation and sales, but they can also result in serious consumer safety risks.
Everything and anything can be counterfeited from handbags to DVDs, car-parts to medicines. Criminals will do what they can to profit from others intellectual property and ideas.
There has been a large shift from rogue stalls at markets to online distribution and now a large proportion of counterfeit items can be found on dedicated websites, online market places and social media.
Counterfeit good websites
These sites are located throughout the world and while they often look legitimate – featuring advertising from reputable companies ad accepting major credit cards – they are essentially online havens for theft, enabling criminals to profit from content or intellectual property they had nothing to do with creating.
The potential harm and risks from counterfeit goods and the rogue websites selling them is profound. Fake goods are rarely tested or produced to the same health and safety standards we so strongly regulate and follow, therefore for counterfeit goods such as electrical items, food, drink and medicines, the damage can be devastating. Websites selling counterfeit products can also expose consumers to malware, indecent images, identity theft and fraud.
Innumerable companies rely on intellectual property to do business and create valuable products, which supports ordinary peoples’ livelihoods as well as the economy. Counterfeit goods have a damaging effect on businesses – harming brand reputation, causing loss of sales and revenue and even loss of jobs.
Too much is at stake for us to allow rogue websites and those who operate them to continue to steal intellectual property and creative works with impunity.
Working together with FACT, we can develop a robust brand protection strategy for your business bringing together several of our services, such as intelligence and online investigations, to ensure your brand, creative ideas and business is protected.