Warnings that the global value of counterfeit goods could hit $2.8 trillion by 2022 has been labelled as ‘horrifying’ by members of the toy industry working to stamp out IP crime.
The International Trademark Association issued a review yesterday highlighting that rising IP theft and pirating will see the value increase from the $1.3 trillion in 2013 to nearly $3 trillion in the next four years.
According to Rachel Jones, founder of Snap Dragon, an IP protection specialist operating in the toys arena, the statistic demonstrates ‘that counterfeiting is no longer something being battled by the luxury, global brands and pharmaceutical companies’, and that ‘even the smallest brands are being counterfeited.’
Following the release of the statistic, INTA stressed that all consumers need to learn more about consumer rights and make smarter purchasing decisions.
However, Jones has said that greater responsibility lies with IP owners themselves who need to be far more aware of the way in which counterfeiters work today.
“The minute anyone is online, the world may be your oyster, but you are also its,” she told ToyNews. “Never before has it been so important to consider intellectual property protection before launching a product to market – even if you’re just registering trademarks, ensure you do this before anyone else does.”
At a recent summit on IP Protection held in London, Jones recounted the horror of discovering that her infant product Totseat was the target of counterfeiting in a process that was “like being burgled and beaten up at the same time.”
“This is a horrifying statistic which demonstrates that counterfeiting is no longer something battled by luxury brands. I believe that if you cut off the online counterfeits, you cut off their oxygen supply.”
In her ongoing crusade against the criminal act, Jones suggests that IP owners register their products and brand with the EUIPO Enforcement Database, meaning customs and border officials in all 28 member states “can keep an eye out for the movement of any suspect goods which infringe your IP.”
“This is free to do and I urge any business to take advantage of this tremendous resource.”