When was the last time you’ve heard of something growing 10,000%?
In the past 2 decades, the growth of counterfeiting has exploded at Big Bang levels. For brand pirates throughout the globe, business is booming, according to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition.
But for some of the most popular brands in the world, the feeling may seem more like a black hole -- at least when they consider how much counterfeiters profited from their intellectual property.
It’s Not Just Lost Profits...
… It’s also lost jobs – millions of them. In 2008, the International Chamber of Commerce estimated that the total number of jobs lost from counterfeited brands was 2.5 million.
Given the extremely accelerated growth of piracy, that figure may have doubled, and then some.
Where is Much of These Counterfeited Brands Coming From?
If you’re at all plugged in to counterfeiting as a topic, or you just catch the news once in awhile, you probably won’t be surprised to find that China accounts for 63.2 percent of knockoffs, according to OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.
Some U.S. politicians have promised to do something about the problem of so many Chinese manufacturers taking advantage of American IP.
What are the Most-Targeted Brands?
Counterfeit brands -- when pirates take advantage of a company’s IP, it’s not just the business and its employees that feel the pain, it’s customer’s too.
For one reason or another, buyers think they’re getting a good deal.
They’re not; they’re getting ripped off, with shoes and handbags that fall apart, watches that malfunction and other accessories that simply do not stand the test of quality or time.
Some of the most-targeted brands from counterfeiters include:
- Rolex, Cartier (and others)
- Louis Vuitton
- Michael Kors
- Ralph Lauren
- Uggs boots
What Can we Deduce From These Brands?
These are recognizable brands that millions of people around the world prefer, and they’re expensive. In other words, they’re big targets for brand pirates.
The above brands, and others, tend to share other traits that counterfeiters know all too well …
- Leather goods: A sure mark of quality for many goods includes leather: gloves, purses, boots and other wearable items. While a counterfeited item may (or may not) feature real leather, the craftsmanship is surely not up to par.
- Various apparel: Of course, sports leagues are huge economic entities, and so is its apparel. Unfortunately, pirates have found clever workarounds to sell their goods in this and other arenas.
- Jewelry, watches, etc.: Based on seizure numbers, this is another big market for those looking to save money. But if you want your diamonds to last forever, you may want to make sure you’re not buying from a grey or black market.
- Consumer electronics: In a way, the latest fancy electronic device is a status symbol in much the same way that nice clothes and jewelry remain to be today. If you bought your smartphone at a fraction of the cost, hopefully it won’t break down in a fraction of the time.
- Shoes (footwear): Nike is a heavily targeted product, especially since it costs a counterfeiting manufacturing so little investment in money or time to make them. Footwear is among the most common counterfeit products out there.
If you have a product that people like, or you’re simply shopping for your family this holiday season, there’s a good chance someone is ripping you off. For the benefit of consumers and the economy, be careful of what you buy on street corners or online.
And, if you’re the proud owner of a potentially game-changing product, don’t let the brand products take advantage of you. Our software can protect your position on the market.