Multinational corporations lose $250 billion annually in intellectual property (IP) theft in the form of counterfeit and pirated products. To stem the tide of counterfeits, governments are stepping up resources and also collaborating across borders in global crackdowns.
A recent Reuters article details the collective efforts by the United States and China to seize counterfeit goods. The month-long operation involved the seizure of more than 243,000 fake electronic products being exported from China or imported through U.S. Customs. According to the article, American and Chinese customs officials acted on shared information to crack down on infringement of intellectual property rights. China’s Vice Minister of the General Administration of China Customs is a proponent of enforcement agencies around the world working more closely to stop the illegal activity. The Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection also acknowledged that a cross-border effort is needed to fight the growing tide of counterfeit goods.
In another joint operation, the U.S. seized 470 counterfeit electronic components during a six-month effort with French Customs.
A recent European Commission report highlighted that in 2012, “more than 39 million different items were seized at European borders clocking up a total retail value of €991.9m.”
Nearly every industry is challenged by counterfeits. A U.S. Senate committee report described 1,800 known cases of suspect counterfeit electronic parts in the defense supply chain, originating from more than 650 companies. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has estimated that more than 520,000 counterfeit parts are installed on planes each year. The pharmaceutical sector is victim to various forms of counterfeiting, ranging from false labeling to the addition of toxic or adulterated raw ingredients.
To learn more about the Health and Safety Risks of Counterfeits, download our whitepaper.
CREATe Resources for IP Protection:
- Free Trial: Join the pilot program of CREATe Leading Practices for IP Protection. Email info@CREATe.org to learn more.
- Model IP Policies: sample policies for companies looking to implement policies to protect IP, available in English, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese
- Whitepaper: The Health and Safety Risks of Counterfeits
- IP risks: documents outlining risks specific to copyright, trade secrets, trademarks and patents.