COUNTERFEIT – the act of counterfeiting and its outcome; fraudulent reproduction; falsification
With the evolution of crafts and guilds, cases of counterfeit have multiplied and the first organizational measures have been taken and established conditions for the use of brands and convinced the authorities of the need to punish acts of counterfeiting.
By an order issued in 1534, King Francis I of France established that the trademarks must be different from one another and Charles V in 1544 establishes cutting the right-hand punishment for the counterfeiter of a trademark, the penalty later replaced by a fine, andwith galley work in case of relapse.
The first attempt to protect products on the territory of the Romanian Lands is considered to be the “privilege” given by Sir Alexandru Moruzzi in 1800 valid for 15 years.
Counterfeiting does not forgive and excludes any area: from drugs to car parts and aircraft, from clothes to toys, from food and beverages to electronics and home appliances, from cosmetics and hygiene products to construction materials, from stationery to clothing, everything falsifies because the counterfeit product brings significant profit to the counterfeiter.
Moreover, these earnings are used to fund other illicit activities, but INTERPOL and EUROPOL have documented links with other transnational networks of organized crime – human trafficking, drug trafficking andrecently, with terrorist organizations.
The Europol Report: Situation Report on Counterfeiting in the European Union in cooperation with Europol and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, reveals that even organizations such as the Camorra – the Italian mafia – have started to deal illegal business with forgeries, although their traditionally “object of activity” was related to the collection of protection fees, drug trafficking, gambling and prostitution. For several years Mafia organizations have been collaborating with Chinese criminal groups, counterfeit products being illegally brought through the port of Naples. The money obtained is financing terrorist operations, as it was the 2004 Madrid attack, case in which the sale of pirated CDs financed this terrorist operation.
A wide range of products susceptible to counterfeiting are targeted within the specific operations coordinated by Interpol, such as: auto parts, cosmetics and personal care products, medicines, food, beverages, fuel, detergent, pesticides, toys, electrical and electronic products. Operations take place in all regions of the world and results in the confiscation of impressive quantities of counterfeit goods, the destruction of trafficking networks, the closure of production facilities and sites specialized in counterfeiting and the identification of transport routes commonly used in trafficking in human beings and drugs.
Why is it necessary to approach the phenomenon of counterfeiting?
– it has a major impact on people’s lives and health and on the world economy;
– is based on fraudulent infringement or use of property rights, and innovation and competitiveness are considered to be the engines of the world economy;
– the statistics of the last decade shows the explosive increase in the number of counterfeit products identified worldwide;
– Income earned is used to fund organized crime networks and terrorist organizations.
The real dimension of the phenomenon is impossible to quantify, all quantitative estimations are based on the volume of goods found to be counterfeited, but it is widely accepted that it is a global phenomenon that has evolved significantly once with access to modern technologies.