Counterfeit

Counterfeit

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To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product. The word counterfeit frequently describes both the forgeries of currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 and document
Document
The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...

s, as well as the imitations of works of art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, toys
Toys
Toys is a 1992 comedy film directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robin Williams, Michael Gambon, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright, LL Cool J, and introducing Jamie Foxx as Baker. The film failed at the box office at the time of its release, despite its impressive cast and lavish filmmaking. Levinson was...

, clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

, software, pharmaceuticals, watch
Watch
A watch is a small timepiece, typically worn either on the wrist or attached on a chain and carried in a pocket, with wristwatches being the most common type of watch used today. They evolved in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century. The first watches were...

es, electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 and company logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

 and brands. In the case of goods, it results in patent infringement
Patent infringement
Patent infringement is the commission of a prohibited act with respect to a patented invention without permission from the patent holder. Permission may typically be granted in the form of a license. The definition of patent infringement may vary by jurisdiction, but it typically includes using or...

 or trademark infringement
Trademark infringement
Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights attaching to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensees...

. Additionally, it is fairly common in big cities for would-be criminals to sell counterfeit illegal drugs, such as a bag of pure baking soda sold as cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 or heroin, or a bag of oregano
Oregano
Oregano – scientifically named Origanum vulgare by Carolus Linnaeus – is a common species of Origanum, a genus of the mint family . It is native to warm-temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall,...

 sold as marijuana. This takes advantage of the extremely high prices of illicit drugs and the relatively low prices of common materials such as baking soda and oregano, as well as taking advantage of the similarity in appearances that certain house-hold items share with certain illicit drugs.

The counterfeiting of money is usually attacked aggressively by governments. The counterfeiting of goods is countenanced by some governments.

Counterfeiting of money or government bonds


Counterfeit money is currency that is produced without the legal sanction of the state or government and in deliberate violation of the laws thereof; the United States Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

, better known as the official bodyguard detail for the President and/or the Vice President of the United States, their families, and/or other officials/dignitaries and/or their families, was initially organized primarily to combat the counterfeiting of American money; counterfeit government bonds are public debt instruments that are produced without legal sanction, with the intention of "cashing them in" for authentic currency or using them as collateral
Collateral (finance)
In lending agreements, collateral is a borrower's pledge of specific property to a lender, to secure repayment of a loan.The collateral serves as protection for a lender against a borrower's default - that is, any borrower failing to pay the principal and interest under the terms of a loan obligation...

 to secure legitimate loans or lines of credit.

Counterfeiting of documents


Forgery is the process of making or adapting documents with the intention to deceive. It is a form of fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

, and is often a key technique in the execution of identity theft
Identity theft
Identity theft is a form of stealing another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name...

. Uttering and publishing is a term in United States law for the forgery of non-official documents, such as a trucking company's time and weight logs.

Questioned document examination
Questioned document examination
Questioned document examination is the forensic science discipline pertaining to documents that are in dispute in a court of law...

 is a scientific process for investigating many aspects of various documents, and is often used to examine the provenance and verity of a suspected forgery. Security printing
Security printing
Security printing is the field of the printing industry that deals with the printing of items such as banknotes, passports, tamper-evident labels, product authentication, stock certificates, postage stamps and identity cards...

 is a printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 industry specialty, focused on creating illegal documents which are difficult to forge.

Counterfeiting of consumer goods



The spread of counterfeit goods (commonly called "knockoffs") has become global in recent years and the range of goods subject to infringement has increased significantly. Apparel and accessories accounted for over 50 percent of the counterfeit goods seized by U.S Customs and Border Control. According to the study of Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau (CIB) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), counterfeit goods make up 5 to 7% of World Trade, however these figures cannot be substantiated due to the secretive nature of the industry. A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

 indicates that up to US$200 Billion of international trade could have been in counterfeit and illegally-copied goods in 2005. In November 2009, the OECD updated these estimates, concluding that the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in world trade had increased from 1.85% in 2000 to 1.95% in 2007. That represents an increase to US$250 billion worldwide.

In a detailed breakdown of the counterfeit goods industry, the total loss faced by countries around the world is $600 Billion, with the United States facing the most economic impact.
When calculating counterfeit products, current estimates place the global losses at $400 Billion. On November 29, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security seized and shut down 82 websites as part of a U.S. crackdown of websites that sell counterfeit goods, and was timed to coincide with "Cyber Monday," the start of the holiday online shopping season.

Some see the rise in counterfeiting of goods as being related to globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

. As more and more companies, in an effort to increase profits, move manufacturing to the cheaper labour markets of the third world, areas with weaker labour laws or environmental regulations, they give the means of production to foreign workers. These new managers of production have little or no loyalty to the original corporation. They see that profits are being made by the global brand for doing little (other than advertising) and see the possibilities of removing the middle men (i.e. the parent corporation) and marketing directly to the consumer.

Certain consumer goods
Final good
In economics final goods are goods that are ultimately consumed rather than used in the production of another good. For example, a car sold to a consumer is a final good; the components such as tires sold to the car manufacturer are not; they are intermediate goods used to make the final good.When...

, especially very expensive or desirable brands or those that are easy to reproduce cheaply, have become frequent and common targets of counterfeiting. The counterfeiters either attempt to deceive the consumer into thinking they are purchasing a legitimate item, or convince the consumer that they could deceive others with the imitation. An item which makes no attempt to deceive, such as a copy of a DVD with missing or different cover art, is often called a "bootleg" or a "pirated copy" instead.

Most counterfeit goods are produced in China, making it the counterfeit capital of the world. In fact, the counterfeiting industry accounts for 8% of China's GDP. Joining China are North Korea and Taiwan. Some counterfeits are produced in the same factory that produces the original, authentic product, using inferior materials. Another strange new trend in counterfeiting, especially seen in consumer electronics, is the manufacture of entirely novel products using poor quality materials or, more often, incorporating desirable features not present in a brand's authentic product line and then including prominent and fake brand names and logotypes to profit from brand recognition or brand image. An example would be imitation "Nokia" cellular phones with features like WiFi
WIFI
WIFI is a radio station broadcasting a brokered format. Licensed to Florence, New Jersey, USA, the station is currently operated by Florence Broadcasting Partners, LLC.This station was previously owned by Real Life Broadcasting...

, touchscreens or TV, which are unavailable in authentic originals. Another example would be imitation "iPod" MP3 players whose power cells or batteries are removable and replaceable, whereas in authentic originals the power cells or batteries are permanently installed.

In the United States, a federal crackdown on counterfeit imports is driving an increase in domestic output of fake merchandise, according to investigators and industry executives. Raids carried out in New York City resulted in the seizure of an estimated $200 Million in counterfeit apparel, bearing the logos of brands such as "The North Face," "Polo," "Izod Lacoste," "Rocawear," "Seven for all Mankind," and "Fubu." One of the largest seizures was a joint operation in Arizona, Texas and California that seized seventy-seven containers of fake "Nike Air Jordan" shoes and a container of "Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch is an American retailer that focuses on casual wear for consumers aged 18 to 22. It has over 300 locations in the United States, and is expanding internationally....

" clothing, valued at $69.5 Million. Another current method of attacking counterfeits is at the retail level. Fendi
Fendi
Fendi is an Italian high fashion house best known for its "baguette" handbags. It was launched in 1925 as a fur and leather shop in Rome, but today is a multinational luxury goods brand owned by LVMH...

 sued the "Sam's Club" division of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , branded as Walmart since 2008 and Wal-Mart before then, is an American public multinational corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's 18th largest public corporation, according to the Forbes Global 2000...

 Stores, Inc. for selling fake "Fendi" bags and leather goods in five states. Sam's Club agreed to pay Fendi a confidential amount to settle the dispute and dismiss the action. In the case Tiffany v. eBay, Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. is an American jewelry and silverware company. As part of its branding, the company is strongly associated with its Tiffany Blue , which is a registered trademark.- History :...

 sued auction site EBay
EBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

 for allowing the sale of counterfeit items. Gucci
Gucci
The House of Gucci, better known simply as Gucci , is an Italian fashion and leather goods label, part of the Gucci Group, which is owned by French company PPR...

 filed suit against thirty websites in the United States and is currently in the process of suing one hundred more.

A number of companies involved in the development of anti-counterfeiting and brand protection solutions have come together to form special industry-wide and global organisations dedicated to combating the so-called "brand pirates". These are the International Authentication Association http://www.internationalauthenticationassociation.org and the International Hologram Manufacturers Association http://www.ihma.org. Other companies and organizations have established web-based communities that provide a framework for crowd-sourced solutions to counterfeiting. One such free community, Collectors Proof http://www.CollectorsProof.com enables manufacturers and users alike to associate unique identification numbers to virtually any item so that each new owner can update its chain of custody. Because quality counterfeit items are often difficult to discern from authentic goods, this approach enables potential customers to access an item's current and previous owners - its provenance
Provenance
Provenance, from the French provenir, "to come from", refers to the chronology of the ownership or location of an historical object. The term was originally mostly used for works of art, but is now used in similar senses in a wide range of fields, including science and computing...

 - prior to purchase.

To try to avoid this, companies may have the various parts of an item manufactured in independent factories and then limit the supply of certain distinguishing parts to the factory that performs the final assembly to the exact number required for the number of items to be assembled (or as near to that number as is practicable) and/or may require the factory to account for every part used and to return any unused, faulty or damaged parts. To help distinguish the originals from the counterfeits, the copyright holder may also employ the use of serial numbers and/or holograms etc., which may be attached to the product in another factory still.

See also


  • Authentication
    Authentication
    Authentication is the act of confirming the truth of an attribute of a datum or entity...

  • Coin counterfeiting
    Coin counterfeiting
    Coin counterfeiting of valuable antique coins is common; modern high-value coins are also counterfeited and circulated.Counterfeit antique coins are generally made to a very high standard so that they can deceive experts; this is not easy and many coins still stand out.-Circulating...

  • Counterfeit medications
    Counterfeit medications
    A counterfeit medication or a counterfeit drug is a medication or pharmaceutical product which is produced and sold with the intent to deceptively represent its origin, authenticity or effectiveness...

  • Counterfeit watch
    Counterfeit watch
    A counterfeit watch is an illegal copy of an authentic watch. According to estimates by the Swiss Customs Service, there are some 30 to 40 million counterfeit watches put into circulation each year. For example, the number and value of Customs’ seizures rose from CHF 400,000 and 18 seizures in 1995...

  • Slug (coin)
    Slug (coin)
    A slug is a counterfeit coin that is used to make illegal purchases from a coin-operated device, such as a vending machine, pay phone, parking meter, transit farebox, copy machine, coin laundry, gaming machine, or arcade game...

  • Entertainment Law
    Entertainment law
    Entertainment law or media law is a term for a mix of more traditional categories of law with a focus on providing legal services to the entertainment industry. The principal areas of Entertainment Law overlap substantially with the well-known and conventional field of intellectual property law...

  • Gresham's Law
    Gresham's Law
    Gresham's law is an economic principle that states: "When a government compulsorily overvalues one type of money and undervalues another, the undervalued money will leave the country or disappear from circulation into hoards, while the overvalued money will flood into circulation." It is commonly...

  • Illegal stamps
    Illegal stamps
    Illegal stamps are postage stamp-like labels issued in the names of existing independent countries or territories used to defraud postal administrations, stamp collectors, and the general public. Often, but not always, a member nation of the Universal Postal Union will have asked the UPU to issue...

  • Intellectual property
    Intellectual property
    Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

  • Philatelic fakes and forgeries
    Philatelic fakes and forgeries
    In general, philatelic fakes and forgeries refers to labels that look like postage stamps but are not. Most have been produced to deceive or defraud...

  • Counterfeit banknote detection pen
  • Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...



External links