The Economics of Counterfeit Trade: Governments, Consumers, Pirates and Intellectual Property Rights

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Peggy Chaudhry

More money inevitably strengthens criminal organisations and makes it more difficult to stem the damaging societal impact of their activities—an impact that could include lost lives, greater security costs as well as physical and emotional consequences. Because counterfeit goods are not subject to the regulatory standards and production norms that govern legitimate products, their consumption can pose serious health risks. A large proportion of alcohol poisoning deaths in Russia for instance—which numbered over 17, in —are thought to be caused by counterfeit beverages with hazardous ingredients.

With counterfeit pharmaceuticals, the problem is even direr as many drugs will contain incorrect dosages of active ingredients or no active ingredient at all. A recent study by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene found that, in , substandard or degraded anti-malaria drugs contributed to the deaths of more than , children below the age of 5 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Stricter enforcement of IP laws is essential to curb the growing threat that counterfeiting and piracy poses to society. As the first steps towards effective actions necessitate a clear view of the scale of the problem, the above BASCAP figures allow governments to compare any enforcement costs with the enormous price of inaction on counterfeiting and piracy. BASCAP engages directly with national consumer protection agencies, international organisations and the private sector to promote effective anti-counterfeiting and piracy strategies and is at the forefront of research into the economic and societal impact of IP theft.

BASCAP was also one of the initial signatories of a joint Declaration of Intent to Prevent the Maritime Transport of Counterfeit Goods , a commitment by the global shipping industry and brand owners to work together to stop the transport of counterfeit goods on shipping vessels. More brand owners, vessel companies and transport service providers are encouraged to support this work and sign on to the Declaration. The I Buy Real website provides materials without charge for organizations and associations to engage in awareness raising campaigns of their own or as part of an existing campaign.

As a business-led alliance, BASCAP relies on the expertise of a wide spread of member companies across sectors that allow it to accomplish more than any single company could on its own. Chamber of Commerce, counterfeiting and piracy cost the U. A Gartner study estimates 3. Please share your experiences with us by completing this brief online survey.

All responses will be kept confidential and all participants will receive a free copy of the final research report. For more information on the survey or the CMO Council, please contact Peter Moore at or pmoore globalfluency. Click here to launch the survey.

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With more than 8, member companies in over countries, the Paris-based ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world. Copyright and branded goods are an important part of every modern economy. The most innovative and advanced sectors rely heavily on IP to support innovation in their own products and services.

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Nearly every enterprise today uses or produces some form of IP in its business — from its own trademarks on products, to copyrighted publications, music, video or software, to branded goods or services of all types. The BASCAP guidelines will help companies assess the effectiveness of their IP management policies, and to consider new options for improving performance and managing the risks associated with counterfeiting and piracy. Senior European Union officials applauded the move.


These guidelines provide a clear roadmap for any company looking to better protect its most important assets. ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban said the guidelines are designed to be useful to a wide range of businesses in different sectors, and are suitable to be tailored to deal more specifically with particular industries or sectors.

This year should be a busy year as we look forward to a series of workshops and roll-out events working with ICC national committees and their members large and small. USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment. Its membership includes some U.

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As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade. New York, March 3, — Industry leaders from around the world today unveiled new strategies to combat counterfeiting and piracy, including a set of urgent recommendations for a global anti-counterfeiting pact being negotiated by major trading countries. In addition, they called on heads of G8 countries to lead the way in improving national intellectual property enforcement regimes and announced a set of their own in-country initiatives beginning with Canada, Germany, the UK, Russia, China and the United States.

The CEOs also announced plans for a ground-breaking consumer education campaign that will take a global approach to building awareness of the damages caused by counterfeiting and piracy.

The new agreement would focus on filling the gaps not covered by existing multilateral agreements, including stronger enforcement measures, improved international cooperation and a strong legal framework for intellectual property protection. BASCAP members and others in the private sector are committed to working closely with governments to support this process. The two global business organizations today presented a paper outlining their recommendations to Ambassador Schwab. ICC and INTA will distribute the paper to the leaders of the EU, Japan, Korea, Mexico and other governments, and will work with business organizations around the world to press governments to finalize an agreement.

Private-public collaboration is a vital component in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. BASCAP executives expressed concern that little concrete action has been taken on promises made at G8 meetings in and Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Temporarily Out of Stock Online Please check back later for updated availability. Overview The expansion of world trade has brought with it an explosive growth in counterfeit merchandise. Estimates put the world total for counterfeit products at about one half trillion dollars annually, although it is impossible to accurately determine the true size of the counterfeit market.

What is known is that this illicit trade has infected nearly every industry from pharmaceuticals to aircraft parts.