Most of us think of knockoffs as counterfeit goods and immediately think of designer handbags. Most of us are wrong. Below are 25 facts you should know, because they have a direct impact on your life, whether you know it or not.
- Knockoffs and counterfeits aren’t the same things. Knockoffs resemble a designer brand but don’t duplicate it, use a brand name, or infringe on trademarks. Think of real dollar bills compared with monopoly money.
- Criminals make Counterfeit goods with the intent to defraud. They infringe on trademarks by illegally using brand names and copying distinguishing features. Think of counterfeit bills you can’t tell are fake.
- It’s not illegal to sell knockoffs.
- It is illegal for anyone to sell counterfeit goods, even if they are second-hand.
- It is not illegal to buy or own knockoffs or counterfeits.
- Consumer electronics, clothes, and handbags rate in the top ten of counterfeit goods because of the high profits.
- China is the biggest importer of these illegal goods.
- Nearly 24% of online buyers are scammed with fake merchandise.
- Terrorist groups, drug cartels, human traffickers, and other criminal organizations have all benefitted from counter merchandise revenue.
The FBI claims to have found evidence directly linking profits from counterfeit goods to terrorist attacks in the U.S. and abroad, including 9/11
- According to the International Chamber of Commerce, 4.5 million jobs will be at risk from counterfeiting and piracy by 2022.
- Counterfeit products promote human rights abuse and child labor, including sweatshops regularly enslaving children to provide the labor.
- You can detect many counterfeit products by their low quality and lack of craftsmanship.
- You have to take others to an authorized dealer for verification because it’s nearly impossible to tell them from the real deal.
- The number of counterfeited products are growing at an alarming rate. They include everything from pharmaceuticals to parts for U.S. missile defense, thus endangering our health and safety in many ways.
- According to the Department of Homeland Security, there were more than 23,000 seizures at U.S. ports of entry in 2014 alone, worth an estimated $1.2 billion.
- In March of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in favor of a person’s right to re-sell their own property. It doesn’t apply to property purchased illegally, or to copies of something you purchased without owning the intellectual property rights.
- The branch of the federal government that regulates consumer products is the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Consumer Product Safety Law allows fines up to $50,000 fines, plus an additional year in prison for anyone who knowingly sells counterfeit products.
- The United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime reported:
The value of counterfeiting is estimated by the OECD to be in the region of $250 billion per year, while the World Customs Organization has identified counterfeit products destined for 140 countries.
- eBay is the world’s largest online market for counterfeit goods.
- The number one destination for faked goods in the U.S.
- Laws vary from country to country. It is illegal in Italy to buy any type of counterfeit goods. However, Italy is the number one exporter of high-quality counterfeit handbags and shoes.
- Regardless of the seller’s policy, you’re entitled to a full refund if you’re sold a counterfeit product.
For more information, visit the agencies listed above. There are also informative videos at the government website StopFakes .