Did you know that shoes are the most imitative product in the world today?
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 22% of the counterfeit products seized are shoes, while the trade in counterfeit and pirated products currently accounts for 3.3% of world trade and is increasing. According to the EUIPO 2020 infringement report, counterfeiting has spread from the activities of luxury brands to pharmaceuticals, electronics, cosmetics, automotive parts, tobacco, pesticides, toys, food and beverages, and even to technical products such as bearings and electronic components..
This diversification of counterfeits in ordinary consumer goods has important consequences. In addition to possible financial losses, there is a risk of environmental damage and risks to the health and safety of consumers. Counterfeiting is often linked to organized crime, such as drug trafficking, murder, child labor, corruption and money laundering.
However, it is often difficult to try to win the war against the rise of counterfeit goods by educating consumers about the counterfeiting of counterfeit goods in the economy. What requires quick but slow change for brand owners is constant warning of the potential harm of counterfeit products to their buyers, as well as vigilant control of their brands and brands, and prompt action in case of violations.
Tracking brands and slogans for potential violations is an “always” 24/7 business in the digital world. Here is an overview of three main sectors: pharmacy; Cosmetics and personal care products; and children’s products, which actively monitor brand owners for counterfeit goods, help protect the health of their consumers.
1. Pharmacy Products
An example of situations where a dangerous counterfeit product can cause serious damage or even death is the pharmaceutical industry. Forget the image of the street vendor selling “panacea” bottles; Counterfeit drugs are currently sold through heavily funded multinational criminal gangs operating in a market that is growing at about 20% annually and is worth up to $ 200 billion annually.
The latest crime report from Europol and EUIPO found that investigations into this counterfeit drug case revealed other related crimes, such as “illegal drugs and substances, crimes against public health, money laundering, fraud, extortion, documentary fraud and corruption”.
Fake versions of brand names and generics, as well as life-saving prescription drugs for cancer and serious cardiovascular disease, are being sold to consumers online at alarming prices. In addition to the significant economic losses for brand owners (about € 6 billion per year in direct sales in the EU alone), the sale of counterfeit medicines poses a serious threat to the public. Antibiotics topped the list of counterfeit drugs seized by customs around the world in 2014-2016, with sexually impulsive treatments, painkillers, antimalarial and diabetes.
Protecting your brand from counterfeiters operating at such high speeds is a challenge, even for trademark protection professionals. There is an urgent need to meet the needs of modern brands that are increasingly complex in terms of technology, human competence and global reach.
Outside of the pharmaceutical industry, counterfeit goods regularly ruin a healthy life. Below are some examples of little-discussed industries that endanger counterfeiting.
2. Cosmetics and personal care products
Both women and men have sacrificed their health for youth and beauty since ancient times. Lisa Eldridge wrote in her book Face Paint that traces of lead were found in the tombs of first-class women living in ancient Greece. The most famous is the stain of Queen Elizabeth I and the ladies of her courtesy Venice Ceruse, a deadly mixture of vinegar and lead, on their faces to cover traces of trout and obtain a fashionable white pigment.
Today, imitation cosmetics are often made from all kinds of deadly and unsightly ingredients, including lead, mercury, cyanide, arsenic and paint strippers. Consumers can suffer from chemical burns, skin infections and long-term health problems such as lead poisoning.
According to the IPO for Crime and Enforcement, more than 2.2 million counterfeit body care products, including cosmetics and perfumes, were seized in the UK alone in 2017-18. In the EU, the sector is estimated to have lost 14% directly in cosmetics and personal care products, estimated at € 9.6 billion a year.
3. Products for children
Some parents deliberately buy products that can harm their child. When buying toys, strollers, high chairs, etc. You can accidentally buy a counterfeit product through social media or online.
Foregone public income from toys and games amounted to EUR 0.3 billion in Europe alone, with an immediate loss of EUR 1 billion per year.
Renowned manufacturers of children’s products must adhere to strict rules and regulations. In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates products for children under 12 through the Consumer Product Safety Act 2008 (CPSIA). Mandatory testing by a third party is required to ensure that products under the age of 12 comply with “rules, prohibitions, standards or regulations applicable to the product”.
Counterfeiters care about the safety of children. The main dangers of counterfeit products for children are toxic materials such as lead and phthalates (known to permanently damage internal organs), asthma, electric shock and fire.
Collection of counterfeit goods
One of the main reasons for the rise of counterfeit goods in recent years is online shopping. On platforms that support third-party customers, many counterfeiters have opened stores despite strict anti-counterfeiting policies.
The problem of counterfeiting is not easy for brand owners to solve. Many manufacturers and distributors are actively seeking a better understanding of their supply chain operations to avoid counterfeiting. VerifyMe is a digital technology solutions provider specializing in aspects of brand protection such as counterfeiting prevention, authentication, serialization, tracking and tracing of labels, packaging and products.
Corsearch, a global provider of trademark, trademark and domain name protection, recently partnered with VerifyMe to work on positive solutions for counterfeiting and brand abuse in e-commerce. Tobors Hartmann, CEO of Corsearch, explains why: “As the e-commerce environment becomes more complex, brands face new challenges that require integrated solutions from professionals with different specializations.”
Consumers can, in a healthy sense, take measures to protect themselves against counterfeit and dangerous goods. Here are 10 ways smart ecommerce customers can protect themselves with STOPfakes.gov:
- Check labels, packaging and materials carefully
- Find an Authorized Dealer: Shop only at the brand’s stone or online store
- Look for lost VAT charges
- Request a secure transaction
- Look for quality assurance in the secondary market
- Report spam or defective products
- Be careful when shopping abroad
- Teach your family about counterfeit goods
- Warning to family and friends about the origin of illegal products
- Trust yourself and your instincts
In this way, the intellectual content of the nations of the world is different. The global environmental development strategy is based on a new environment for the development of the fight against counterfeiting and the development of an anti-counterfeiting strategy.
In addition, the reputation and goodwill of people in good faith and the head of consumers. There is no room for money.