Counterfeiting is growing global problem, eroding the intellectual property rights of creatives, rights owners and companies. We have some fascinating facts that will make most people think twice about the scale and dangers posed by counterfeiting.
1. The amount of counterfeit goods traded annually is greater than the GDP of 150 of the world’s countries.
An International Chamber of Commerce report estimates the total value of counterfeit and pirated goods globally could be as high as $1.77 Trillion. To put that number into perspective, that value is roughly equal to the annual nominal GDP of Canada - the 11th biggest economy in the world!
2. Despite the increased attention, the global counterfeits market is growing at breakneck speeds.
The counterfeit goods market has seen increasingly high growth rates over the past two decades, in particular seeing growth at breakneck speeds since the global financial crisis of 2008. The US. government estimate that the value of global counterfeits has increased by 1700% in the last 10 years.
3. Online counterfeit sales have likely overtaken street sales.
In 2012, a special report by the US Trade Representative office claimed that online counterfeit sales were set to overtake sales on street markets around the world. Rising global internet adoption rates and the popularity of Chinese marketplaces were attributed as the primary reasons. Another key factor was that legitimate courier services were being used to transport the majority of these goods, making it harder for customs officials to stem the trade flows.
4. The losses from counterfeit pharmaceuticals is 10 times greater than counterfeit clothes & shoes.
According to a ranking of the most counterfeited goods by Havacscope consumers are much more likely to purchase counterfeit drugs rather than purchase counterfeit clothes, shoes and bags. In fact the estimated losses from counterfeit pharmaceuticals exceeds $200 billion vs a paltry $24 bllion for fashion products. The economies they are hurting most include those of developing African countries, where fake anti-Malarial drugs are rampant.
5. 3 out of every 4 counterfeit product is made in China.
While this may not seem surprising at first it is only when we take this in context of the scale of global piracy that we can see how rampant an industry this is in China. A 2013 article from the Financial Times reports that the counterfeiting problem has become so bad in China it is causing many foreign brands to wonder whether manucturing in China is still worth it.
The global counterfeit industry has taken the internet by storm, and is perhaps the biggest threat to brands' online earning potential. The very nature of the counterfeit industry has prompted the need for IP holders to adopt a technological solution in order for them to have a fighting chance of beating the counterfeiters.