Q. What is counterfeit?
A: Counterfeit: An imitation of a document, product or its packaging that is made with the intent to deceptively represent the item as the genuine article.

According to the trade related aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights (The trips agreement), “counterfeit trademark goods” shall mean any goods, including packaging, bearing without authorization a trademark which is identical to the trademark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trademark, and which thereby infringes the rights of the owner of the trademark in question under the law of the country of importation”

Q. What is counterfeiting?
A: In layman language, the making of an imitation, copy of forgery of a genuine document, card, product, label or package with the intention to deceive or defraud is counterfeiting.

Q. Who is Counterfeiter ?
A: According to the Indian Penal Code, a person is called a counterfeiter when he is she causes one thing to resemble another, intending by means of their resemblance to practice deception or knowing it to be likely that the deception will be practical.

Q. What are types of counterfeiting?
A: It is important to identify the type of counterfeiting threat prior to selecting or developing effective countermeasures.

Types of counterfeiting (Adapted from (Spink, 2009b , Spink, 2007 ))
Adulterate: A component of the legitimate finished product is fraudulent
Tamper: Legitimate product and package are used in a fraudulent way
Over-run: Legitimate product is made in excess of production agreements
Theft: Legitimate product is stolen and passed off as legitimately procured
Diversion:  The sale or distribution of legitimate product outside of intended markets
Simulation:  Illegitimate product is designed to look like but not exactly copy the legitimate product
Counterfeit: All aspects of the fraudulent product and package are fully replicated

Note: In each case, fraudsters may not be following the regulatory definitions of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), or Good Hygiene Practices (GHPs).

Another important distinction for each type of product counterfeiting is that products could be deceptive or non-deceptive. Deceptive counterfeit products are presented in the marketplace as being genuine with the intent to deceive the purchaser. Non-deceptive counterfeit products are presented in the marketplace as counterfeit or fraudulent with no intent to deceive the purchaser (for more information see (OECD, 2007a) or (Spink, 2011)). Non-deceptive counterfeit products are marketed to consumers who seek counterfeit products such as apparel and luxury goods. Effective countermeasures must evaluate whether consumers are intending to buy genuine or counterfeit products. From https://crimesciencejournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2193-7680-2-8

Q. What are the most types of counterfeiting items?
A: The spread of counterfeiting is far and wide, and ranges from counterfeit automobile and aerospace parts to fake luxury items. The trade in counterfeited goods is worth a whopping $462 billion (£321bn) a year, according to the most recent figures from the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office, with a 2017 report predicting it could hit an astonishing $2.3 trillion (£1.7 trillion) by 2022. As per OECD, the top 10 most counterfeited goods in 2016 include;

Electrical Machinery
Leather Articles
Instruments, optical and medicals
Perfumes and cosmetics
In past, luxury items tend to be the most counterfeited products because they are more valuable, but, today the list is not limited to any specific products as its is available in almost all sectors including most of the day to day items used such as automotive components, tobacco, FMCG products etc. etc.

Q. How counterfeit products impacts?
A: Counterfeiting activities are heavenly bleeding all the sectors. While many counterfeit products only cause economic losses to brands and authorities, there are many reported cases of counterfeit goods causing health and safety problems, which, in some cases, have led to serious injuries and / or death – especially in products related to baby food, pharmaceuticals and automotive parts.

Q. Are there ways I can tell if a product is counterfeit?
A: While some counterfeit are nearly indistinguishable to the legitimate product, many counterfeit leave visual clues or have physical traits that can help you judge whether or not the product are real. When ever you buy a product, it is advisable to take care of basic characteristics, including its appearance, texture, reactions and packaging. In case of pharmaceutical products, you can also check the expiry date, compare the medicine you receive with what it is supposed to look, taste and feel like. When comparing packaging, look for differences in paper, printing, color, and fonts (i.e., is it the same size, raised print, embossed, etc.).

Q. What are the solutions against counterfeiting?
A: There are a wide variety of technologies available today that support brand protection strategies. These technologies are applied in the three main areas of anti-counterfeiting, anti-tampering, and tracking and tracing.

Anti-Counterfeiting: The common feature of anti-counterfeiting technologies is that they assist in identifying a product as suspect. Some anti-counterfeiting technologies go further, however, and allow a product to be verified as genuine.

Anti-Tampering: Found more in the food and pharmaceutical industry that in the electrical industry, anti-tampering technologies are used to protect a product from adulteration or replacement. An anti-tampering device that is intact a product is a sign that the product is likely to be genuine.

Tracking and Tracing: Tracking and tracing technologies are used to determine where and when a product (taking its components into account) was manufactured, when it has been and when, and its current status in the supply chain. Some technologies allow for determining where a product is supposed to go. Thus, tracking and tracing technologies are used to fight unauthorized distribution, which is frequently linked to counterfeiting.

Q. What are the regulations against counterfeiting?
A: Many countries have regulations requiring anti-counterfeiting and serialization which needs to be addressed by Brand Owners, e.g. India, USA, EU, Turkey and Russia. For example, the global pharmaceutical industry is moving towards a serialized world, the program will help in evaluating all the available options required to ensure regulatory compliance, protecting supply chain and keep track of their products. We have designed our program in a such a manner that it will help delegates in understanding the entire eco-systems in-depth. Secondly, ISO is going to published new standards on tamper verification features for medicinal product packaging. Our members and expert speakers can help delegates in understanding all these requirements.

The new EU Customs Regulation (608/2013) came into force on January 1 2014. In a careful and evolutionary approach, the new regime aims to: • establish a mandatory procedure for the destruction of infringing goods without the need for a court order; • stem the rising flood of postal and courier traffic of counterfeit goods which has resulted from the increase in online sales; and • expand the range of IP rights which rights holders can invoke in customs enforcement procedures.

Q. Where can I access latest news on Counterfeit incidents?
A: You can access latest counterfeit news at Counterfeit News Repository (CNR). The CNR is an initiative of Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) providing a record of incidents of counterfeiting, theft and illegal diversion of products worldwide. The CNR will provide a platform for academia, brand owners, government authorities to deepen their research on counterfeiting activities, modus operandi, behavior of counterfeiters, trends and analysis. It will also help policymakers in preparation of their strategy in fighting this crime. For more visit http://counterfeitrepository.com/. 

Q. Where can I access latest reports on Counterfeiting?
This Section Contains Various Reports Published by Organizations Against Counterfeiting
All you need to know about spurious medicines, Published by World Health Professions Alliance in 2015
This Handbook is the first of its kind in the area of Spurious Medicines. It is the most welcomed and much needed
initiative. It gives comprehensive information with statistical data, case studies and tools, useful to tackle the menace of spurious medicines. Doctors, Pharmacists and Nurses all have important roles to play to prevent spurious medicines from reaching patients. In countries like India, where health and medicine literacy in the society is not yet fully developed, healthcare professionals have an even a bigger role to play compared to their counterparts in the developed world. This handbook will help enrich their knowledge and confidence to fight against the spurious medicines.

Socio-Economic Impact of Counterfeiting, Smuggling and Tax Evasion in Seven Key Indian Industry Sectors: Invisible Enemy
Published by FICCI

Winning the battle against counterfeit semiconductor products
Published in 2013 by Semiconductor Industry Association

IPR Protection for Everyone: Information and Resources For Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers
Published in 2012 by Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association

Best Practices in the Fight against Global Counterfeiting
Published by American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Piracy in electrical and electronic products- IEC, Anti-counterfeiting best practices and strategies
Published by International Electrotechnical Commission

Counterfeit Parts: Increasing Awareness and Developing Countermeasures
Published by Aerospace Industries Association

Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies, Processes and Best Practices
Published by U.S. Resilience Project (USRP)

Understanding the Flow of Counterfeit and Gray Market Goods though the U.S. Automotive and Commercial Vehicle Parts Marketplace
Published in 2009 by The Brand Protection Council of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Manual: a Practical and Legal Guide for Protecting Your Intellectual Property Rights
Published in 2010 by the Global Intellectual Property Center

Consumer Product Fraud: Deterrence and Detection
Published in 2010 by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and A T Kearney

Report to Congressional Committees: Intellectual Property – Observations on Efforts to Quantify the Economic Effects of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods
Published in April 2010 by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Reseller Liability on Will-Fit, Private Label and Counterfeit Products
Published in April 2010 by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)

Report on countrywide survey for Spurious Drugs
Published in 2009 by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation India

The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy
Published in 2008 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

If you are aware of any other useful publications on counterfeiting that you think should be listed here please Contact Us.

Q. The list of organizations combating counterfeiting?

The following organizations are active in undertaking work to combat the threat posed by counterfeiting. A lot of information is free to access although some organizations may require you to become a member:

Alliance Against IP Theft
Advancing Intellectual Property Protection
All-Party Parliamentary IP Group
ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board)
The Anti-Counterfeiting Group
Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP)
Business Software Alliance
Center for Counterfeit Avoidance (CAMA)
Controller General of Patent Designs and Trademark, India
Counterfeiting Kills
European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA)
European Trademark and Design Network
Federation Against Software Theft (FAST)
Global Intellectual Property Center
International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition
International Hologram Manufacturers Association
Quality Brands Protection Committee
Semiconductor Industry Association
The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition
WAITO (World Anti Illicit Traffic Organisation)
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
World Bearing Association (Stop Fake Bearings)
World Customs Organization

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