Getting Real on the Counterfeit Goods Front: The Growing Problem on Distribution of Counterfeit Products Through the Internet

Originally published in the Portland Business Journal on February 22, 2013.

Counterfeit sales make up as much as 7 percent of worldwide trade. All told, counterfeiting is a $650 billion industry.

An estimated 750,000 U.S. jobs are lost every year as a direct result of counterfeit goods. The lost jobs aren’t limited to the brand holders whose products are being knocked off. Counterfeiting also results in job losses in enterprises providing manufacturing, supply chain, advertising, media and retail services to the brand holders.

As the manufacturing capacity of developing countries continues to grow, so does the volume of fake goods being produced. The growth in that supply in turn fuels the demand for counterfeit products. The Internet, with its instant global reach and anonymity, has become the counterfeiters’ forum of choice for distributing their illicit wares.

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