Originally published on April 14, 2016
Last Published: 7/26/2016

The global trade in tangible counterfeit and pirate goods has risen in the last decade and now accounts for as much as USD 451 billion, according to a new study launched on April 18 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO). This illegal trade is equivalent to the GDP of Austria or the combined GDP of Ireland and the Czech Republic, or roughly equal to the revenues of one of America’s tech superstars.

Hong Kong, China and Turkey have been identified among the top three exporters of counterfeit products, while companies in OECD countries, notably the United States and EU countries (such as Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom), are the most affected.  The study concludes that “counterfeiting and piracy must be directly targeted as a threat to sustainable IP-based business models.” It links the revenues from the sale of counterfeit goods to organized crime networks and even to financing terrorist groups.

European Union 28 Counterfeits