With increasing digitization, more and more information is being released. This is why intellectual property is endangered and pirated copies are on the rise; however, many people are not aware of how dangerous product piracy is for the economy and consumers. LAPIXA will now give you a detailed overview of all important facts and information on counterfeiting and piracy.
Why it’s important to talk about piracy and counterfeiting
“Brand and product and piracy” stands for a transaction involving goods where a right of intellectual property is infringed (intellectual property or IP infringement). These include, among other things, utility models, trademark rights, patent rights and copyrights.
Counterfeiting is the forbidden use of signs, names, logos and business names used by brand manufacturers to label their products in the marketplace. Product piracy means to illegally reproduce and copy products for which the legitimate manufacturers have inventions, design, and procedural rights.
The brand and product pirate thus illegally takes over the intellectual property in order to use it for its products. He uses the reputation of a brand that a brand manufacturer has obtained through the quality of his/her products in order to deceive the consumer about the actual source and quality of the product.
Facts about brand and product piracy
According to statistics, 79 percent of all companies are affected by product piracy, even several times a year. The product counterfeiting occurs across all sectors and ranges from handbags to electronic devices to drugs, machines and entire industrial plants. The annual damage caused by brand and product piracy alone is estimated at 56 billion Euros for German companies.
In 2016, more than half (51.66%) of all counterfeits came from China, but were also produced in Southeast Asia (9.04%) and Eastern Europe (4.47%). The production costs in these countries are low due to the use of cheap source materials and poor working conditions, furthermore costs for development and marketing basically do not exist.
Counterfeit brand goods are detrimental to the economy, because product pirates themselves are not at risk and, moreover, do not have to bear any costs for the development of new products. Instead, they rebuild goods of poor quality.
A trademark or patent infringement can therefore result in significant revenue losses for the product developer and manufacturer. In addition, bad plagiarism can also damage the entire brand and, in the worst case, even threaten the existence of a business.
Counterfeiting can also be dangerous for consumers. One possibility is that inferior colors and materials release toxic fumes that can cause lasting damage to the health. Counterfeit cosmetics and medicines are risky to use because often the recipe does not correspond to the original.
Especially in this area, a particularly high increase is recorded. Often, drugs, personal care products, children’s toys and household electrical appliances are counterfeited. In 2016, cosmetics worth 42 million Euros were confiscated by customs. Even medicines are in great demand. According to estimates of the Federal Association of German Pharmacist Associations, counterfeit drugs lead to higher profits than regular drugs.
Many consumers are unaware that they have bought a fake. Most likely, the customer would have been willing to buy the original product. For businesses, however, any purchase of a counterfeit means a direct loss of revenue. Buyers have negative experiences with a fake product leads to reputational damage because usually that negative experience is attributed to the original brand. This reputational damage is amplified and disseminated when the consumer shares his experiences with friends, acquaintances or internet forums.
Measures against brand and product piracy
Various measures can be taken, if you have become the victim of trademark or product piracy. Among other things, it is a way to take legal action against rights violations. The following claims can be asserted:
Cease and desist letter:
A letter that gives the pirate a chance to stop producing counterfeits by a deadline or he/she will be sued.
In digital counterfeit cases: Contact the web host of the website you found your image on and fill out a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) form. They will take down the content as soon as possible.
US Customs & Border Protection:
File a claim with CBP and record all information about your counterfeited goods and have them notify you in case of suspicious actions.
However, counterfeiting can also be dealt with by a judicial procedure. The aim of such a case is also the enforcement of claims for destruction or damages. In addition, in order to prevent further financial losses or reputational damage, a counter-injunction may be sought in case of product piracy. In the case of this interim relief, the court decides on the securing of a claim in the express proceedings.
How does customs act against product piracy?
Owners of intellectual property rights may apply for customs action. This petition allows plagiarism to be confiscated by customs. Key trademarks and copyright registrations have to be recorded, patents excluded. Confiscation of counterfeit goods is possible on import or export to and from the US.
Can brand and product piracy be stopped?
One of the biggest problems is probably that IPR infringements continue to increase. Not only is the number of counterfeit goods growing steadily, the plagiarism also becomes more diverse. Thus, the brand and product piracy lives off consumers. However, many buyers are not aware of the consequences of purchasing a counterfeit. Consumer education, according to a study, is one of the most effective ways to combat product piracy in a sustainable way.
Information campaigns are designed to encourage consumers to understand the risks and background of counterfeit goods. This may raise awareness about IP violations. After receiving this background information, 90% of consumers would consciously refrain from buying plagiarism. Many customers aren`t only deterred by the personal risks that plagiarism can cause, but also by the damages third parties will suffer from. In addition, they do not want to support organized crime.
Many companies cannot do anything against this piracy. But with LAPIXA, as a photographer, you can defend yourself against copyright infringement. Because we have the opportunity to find your pictures on the internet and thus hold copyright infringers accountable. Do not let anyone use your pictures for his/her own good! LAPIXA helps you to enforce your right, because it is yours!
Your LAPIXA team