Counterfeit consumer goods are goods, often of inferior quality, made or sold under another's brand name without the brand owner's authorization. Sellers of such goods may infringe on either the trademark, patent or copyright of the brand owner by passing off its goods as made by the brand owner. Counterfeit products made up 5 to 7% of world trade in 2013, and in 2014 cost an estimated 2.5 million jobs worldwide, with up to 750,000 jobs lost in the U.S. About 5% of goods imported into the European Union in 2013 were fakes, according to the OECD.

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  • Counterfeit consumer goods are goods, often of inferior quality, made or sold under another's brand name without the brand owner's authorization. Sellers of such goods may infringe on either the trademark, patent or copyright of the brand owner by passing off its goods as made by the brand owner. Counterfeit products made up 5 to 7% of world trade in 2013, and in 2014 cost an estimated 2.5 million jobs worldwide, with up to 750,000 jobs lost in the U.S. About 5% of goods imported into the European Union in 2013 were fakes, according to the OECD. The colloquial term knockoff is often used interchangeably with counterfeit, although their legal meanings are not identical. Knockoff products are those that copy or imitate the physical appearance of other products but which do not copy the brand name or logo of a trademark. They may still be illegal under trademark laws if they confuse consumers. Counterfeiters can include producers, distributors or retail sellers. Pirated goods are reproductions of copyrighted products used without permission, such as music, movies or software. Exact definitions depend on the laws of various countries. Growing over 10,000% in the last two decades, counterfeit products exist in virtually every industry sector, including food, beverages, apparel, accessories, footwear, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electronics, auto parts, toys, and currency. The spread of counterfeit goods is worldwide, with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in 2008 having estimated the global value of all counterfeit goods at $650 billion annually, increasing to $1.77 trillion by 2015. Countries including the U.S., Italy and France are among the hardest hit, as their economies thrive on producing high-value products, protected by intellectual property rights and trademarks. By 2017, the U.S. alone was estimated to be losing up to $600 billion each year to counterfeit goods, software piracy and the theft of copyrights and trade secrets. (en)
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  • Counterfeit consumer goods are goods, often of inferior quality, made or sold under another's brand name without the brand owner's authorization. Sellers of such goods may infringe on either the trademark, patent or copyright of the brand owner by passing off its goods as made by the brand owner. Counterfeit products made up 5 to 7% of world trade in 2013, and in 2014 cost an estimated 2.5 million jobs worldwide, with up to 750,000 jobs lost in the U.S. About 5% of goods imported into the European Union in 2013 were fakes, according to the OECD. (en)
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  • Counterfeit consumer goods (en)
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