Counterfeiting is creating or designing an exact imitation of something valuable with an anticipated outcome that is intended to defraud or deceive. In other words, counterfeiting is finally a violation of the legal rights of a proprietor of intellectual belonging. It includes any goods not leaving out the packaging, which conveys unauthorized trademark alike to the brand with valid registration in respect to such properties that violates the rights of the possessor of the trademark in query with the collection of rules imposed by authority of the country of importation. In another description they are known as the pirated copyright goods.
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These are explained as products that are made duplicates without the knowledge of the correct person that is at the moment authorized by the country of production. Generally counterfeiting encompasses any initiation of an original product that is meant to mislead the customer to think that it is the original product. Also, it may comprise production of a good that is protected by the copyright right and other rational property rights like the neighbouring rights. Specifically put, the paper is going to discuss the reason why counterfeits are bad and also describe what action is being taken to counter the counterfeit items in countries.
Negative Impact of Counterfeiting
Every year countries have lost billions of money to counterfeiters globally. Due to this large amount of cost the victim continents have been impacted negatively in a number of different ways (Collopy, 2017). First, many industries that compete with counterfeiters directly regarding their products suffer direct loss in a great way when it comes to sales. Indeed, you find that the counterfeiters dominate some markets hindering the manufacturers of the genuine products from accessing these markets.
The reason for this direct competition is that the counterfeiters of today manufacture products of high quality that are similar to the genuine ones making it more difficult to distinguish between the original ones and the fake ones (Hyde, 2017). This has caused these countries to lose direct foreign investment and know-how as most of the foreign investors of reputable goods do relax to produce their goods to them as they cannot wholly depend on the implementation of the logical stuff rights.
Additionally, the blame of the failure of the fake product fall on the manufacturer of the genuine products as most customers are deceived of buying a fake product being convinced that it is genuine thus creating loss of goodwill (He, 2017). It has been a great threat to the companies that associates their brands with exclusivity and quality reason being that even cheap and obvious copies are bought in good faith. Due to this action, a country experiences losses in export as its products gains reputation of being poor in quality even the genuine ones and this results to loss of foreign exchange and loss in jobs.
Also, rather than loss in goodwill and direct losses there is huge amount of expenditure that is involved in implementation and defense of the knowledgeable possession rights (Sadgrove, 2016). The possessors of the copyright and trademark rights spend a lot of funds in investigations and the legal proceedings in courts when battling the counterfeiters and also a ransom amount of money may be required for protection of the goods that are on suspension as the litigation takes place. There is also large amount of money that is budgeted for the ant-counterfeiting authorities as it bridges transversely on many specialized divisions of large companies such as the human resource, legal, product and development and marketing departments.
On the other hand, the basis of a new enterprise growth in a continent is the beingness of a scheme established upon official rules (law) to defend the rights of a person who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it and encourage fair contest. Contrary, counterfeiting discourages inventiveness in a country it is practiced reason being that it dissuades honest processes from committing resources in novel goods and market growth (Singh, 2016). Also, governments’ in countries that counterfeiting is practiced experience direct losses in the essence of tax losses. This is because the counterfeiters sell their products via clandestine channels thus evading to pay taxes.
Ultimately, the customer is the one who suffers more in the contest that is not fair. Many tend to think that they are buying the counterfeited product at a cheaper price but in the real sense the genuine product is always much lower (Huang, 2017). This is because at the end they will a larger price for an inferior product.
Actions Being Taken to Stop Counterfeiting
There are three major actions that are applied on the individuals whom practice the act of counterfeiting all over the world. They include:
The governments are putting more attention on the intellectual property rights of the companies as they have become more important in the modern world. Continents have shown response to pressures concerning the international affairs of a nation and those concerning all nations and have put effort in fortifying legal protection in privilege of right holders (Frances, 2017). Thus a polite judicial contest to determine and enforce legal rights has become the most common action applied upon the persons practicing the role of counterfeiting.
Generally, the action necessitates the institutions of a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked against the people directly convoluted in production, supply and transaction of counterfeit goods. In most countries Item 42 of the Trade-Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights treaty consist of legal processes as a basic protection for the right holders. The agreement says: “Associates will create accessible to right possessor’s public legal processes regarding the implementation of whichever knowledgeable possession right protected by this Treaty” (Correa, 2007, p. 339).
In the last two decennaries, a major step has been in introduced in most countries in declaring product counterfeiting as a criminal offence. This can be based on issues of act such as shot to swindle, or outcome from a stipulated condition in brand regulation. Respectively, all the nations that are obliged to the Trade-Related Aspects on Knowledgeable Possession Rights treaty will criminalize fabricating under item 61 of the treaty which states: “…provision for illegal processes and forfeits to be realistic at smallest amount in circumstances of obstinate logo fabricating or patent piracy on a profitmaking gauge…” (Correa, 2007, p. 345).
However, due to counterfeiting being considered as a minor offence compared to other criminal offences, rules relating to procedure being too complex to enforce the law on counterfeits and difficulty in revealing the full length of counterfeiters activities, it may be hard for the trademark possessors to convince the authorities to take action against the counterfeiters.
The act of administrative intervening has become a necessity in prevention of supply of counterfeit goods. This falls under Article 51 of the Trade-Related Features on Knowledgeable Possession Privileges agreement which governs the authorities in the international trade in counterfeits departments. The agreement states that: “…accept processes to empower a true possessor, who has lawful grounds for questioning that the ingress of forged brands or pirated charter properties may happen, to chalet a request in script with proficient powers that be, governmental or legal, for the holdup by duties authorities of the issue into free movement of such products…” (Correa, 2007, p. 343). The owners of the trademark encounters challenges in intervening the administrative authorities as they are required to at times produce specific documents concerning the suspected counterfeit products which are difficult to find and also the large amount of money demanded for suspension.
Conclusively, we have noted that counterfeiting is a violation of rational possession rights and it ought to be stopped with all means. It is the call of the trademark or copyright possessor to enforce the pursuance of their rights and take all the necessary actions in helping the police and customs in protection of their rights. In the past most organizations used civil actions to fight the counterfeiters rather than the customs and the police (Mathews, 2017).
However, this has changed in the last decade where the private-public partnership interest has increased against the act of counterfeiting. Nevertheless, it is the prime responsibility of the right holders to take the essential measures in protection of their rights. Thus it is the responsibility of every citizen to join hands and support the Trade-Related Features on Knowledgeable Possession Rights treaty as it is regarded as an aid to self-help.
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