Counterfeit Goods Worth $77 Million Seized

Posted by Chris Morales on Wed, Jan 04, 2012 @ 06:20 AM

counterfiet goods

Counterfeiters generally cash in on products by top design houses like Chanel and LV. However, this year, there was a shift in their preference. The counterfeiters focused more on plastic toys of Angry Birds and Christmas lights. According to the US Immigration and Customs director, the counterfeiters are doing their best to stay in tune with the times.

Nearly 327,000 items that were counterfeited were seized in the US, by the Customs Enforcement department. The goods were worth $77 million (approximately). The total number of people arrested this holiday season was 33. Among them, 30 were caught in US and 3 in South Korea. One of the charges laid on them was that of trafficking counterfeit goods.

Various Product Categories being Targeted by Counterfeiters

The key focus of counterfeiters was DVDs and luxury items. However, their attention was not limited to such items. They also made imitations of circuit boards, medicines and air bags.

The products are those that are most in demand. For instance, the toy version of Angry Birds, a game that is played by millions of people, has been brought out in stores. Though Angry Birds was introduced in 2011, its toys have been copied quite extensively. Another product that is being counterfeited is jeans by True Religion.

Counterfeiters Using Trademarks to Sell Items as Safe Goods

Counterfeiters are doing all they can to make their products resemble as closely as possible to the original. For example, Christmas light manufacturers have counterfeited the trademark by Underwriters Laboratories. This mark is associated with products that are safe.

However, the fake products are not safe, as they contain undersize wires and don’t have replaceable fuses in plugs. These wires, if overheated, can result in fires, stated the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Similarly, other electronic items like cords and batteries are unsafe as they may catch fire or explode. One of the product categories that causes concern is toys. The chemicals that go into manufacturing the counterfeit ones are most often unsafe for toddlers.

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Tags: counterfeit, San Francisco Bay Area, counterfeiter, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission