Many of us are aware of the word “counterfeit” since it is prevalent nowadays in each and every corner of the market of any economy. For those who are still in the dark, Counterfeiting is unauthorized replication and wrong imitation of a genuine product/mark with intent to deceive the consumer and trade upon the goodwill of the original product. Unfortunately, counterfeiting has become a part and parcel in our daily lives and shopping that genuine products/goods have taken a back seat and fake products have been in the limelight either intentionally or unintentionally. As per OECD/EUIPO’s estimates of international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, the value of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods could reach $991 Billion by 2022.
According to another report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office, the majority of fake goods picked up in customs checks originate in mainland China and Hong Kong. Other major points of origin include the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand and India. Not to forget our own Indian economy where goods are so replicated in every corner of the markets of both metro and non-metro cities to the original genuine brands that even an average buyer with fair acumen can be deceived and lead to buying fake products which are of substandard quality and low-priced.
“Fake products and counterfeiting is inversely proportional to the growth of any economy”. With increasing trend of low-cost counterfeit goods, companies are at the verge of losing their hard earned goodwill and have been on their toes to invest more expenses on tracing the infringers. On the other hand, the businesses whose products are pirated and counterfeit have been at the advantage and secure illicit gains by deceiving public at large and alluring the consumers to deceive that there exist a nexus with the original brand owner. However, there is still a product liability upon them from defective and sub-standard products. We have even noticed that counterfeit goods are not just restricted to luxury items but are prevalent in our day to day items (consumer goods). It is just unimaginable how much loss and hazard counterfeit goods can cause to a well-being of an individual particularly in the pharma sector.
To tackle with this menace, various anti-counterfeiting measures have come into force, including but not limited to trademark investigations, market surveys, raids, seizure of counterfeit goods in bulk. However, it is also important that the buyer should be equally aware of these mal practices and be cautious while purchasing a product especially when it is at low priced compared to the original brand.
SOURCES: https://www.oecd.org/ https://iccwbo.org The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy
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