November 28 2011

Knockoff Monday

Nicole Kurokawa Neily

 

Another interesting element of “Cyber Monday”? Counterfeit sales and crooks taking advantage of holiday shoppers seeking a deal. According to Fox News, a joint operation from the Department of Justice, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, and the FBI shut down 150 sites selling counterfeit goods like jerseys, Ugg boots, and Puma shoes.

As I’ve written before, counterfeit goods have a significant direct effect on jobs – including jobs lost in the legal creation, manufacturing and sales of the products, as well as the front-of-house operations like marketing, public relations, and design. Plus… we’re not exactly in a position to shed those jobs.

According to a January 2011 report by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center:

“Based on the latest U.S. official data, we estimate that, in 2008, IP companies in manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors employed more than 19 million full- and part-time (headcounts) workers and accounted for 16.3 percent of U.S. full- and part-time employment. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. manufacturing jobs and 9.3 million workers (full- and part-time) were in IP companies and less than 10 percent of U.S. non-manufacturing jobs and 9.8 million workers (full- and part-time) were in IP companies.”

Of course, there are secondary effects on innovation, too. Why would anyone spend their time and money creating a unique product when they know that the design will be ripped off and reproduced?

At the end of the day, you may save a few bucks buying counterfeit… but your purchases will have a serious effect on the economy. And let’s be honest – your gift recipient doesn’t want a knockoff present anyway.

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