*NEWS*FRANCE FIGHTS THE FAKERS
*NEWS*FRANCE FIGHTS THE FAKERS
2006-04-11 at 9:31:00 am #15066
France fights the fakers
PARIS 4/06 – France is an obvious target for counterfeiters because it leads the world with fashion and luxury brands.But now the threat of competition from fake goods ranges from car parts and frying pans.
The costs of illegal competition from counterfeit goods to legitimate industrialists, in France as in the world, is huge.
Now the French government, together with brand-protection bodies, has turned to counter-attack the counterfeiters, with a big advertising campaign to warn consumers of the risks they run.
The counterfeiting of goods is estimated to cost the legitimate owners of trademark rights throughout the world 200 billion to 300 billion euros (245-368) billion dollars.
In France alone, copies of designer goods, medicine, toys and car parts, predominantly from Asia, are estimated to cost the economy six billion euros a year.
“There is an urgent need to raise the awareness of consumers. Counterfeiting costs France 30,000 jobs every year and 200,000 in Europe as a whole,” said Christophe Beaux, the director of the ministerial cabinet at the French industry ministry.
The finance ministry, together with France’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and the National Committee against Fakes (CNAC), began a five-million-euro campaign this month which will include advertising slots on television and the Internet.
Five 15-second adverts will be shown until June 7 in a bid to press home to consumers the disadvantages of fakes.
CNAC president Bernard Brochand said the French failed fully to grasp the serious consequences of buying counterfeited goods.
First, that they risked an accident, through the use of fake car parts for example. And, secondly, that if caught the false item would be confiscated, and the purchaser would be liable to a fine of two to three times the price of the true article.|
“A survey showed that 35 percent of them openly admitted buying counterfeit products,” he said.
The most popular goods were fake designer products, with 31 percent saying they had bought them or would be prepared to buy to, according to an IFOP survey.
A quarter of respondents said they would also buy fake perfumes, leather goods, shoes and CDs or DVDs.
The number of counterfeit articles confiscated in France surged from 3.5 million items in 2004 to 5.6 million last year, representing a rise of 61.4 percent.
In France, home of the world’s leading fashion houses, the majority of the goods seized were fake designer goods with an estimated value of 314 million euros.
Asia, and especially China, accounted for 41 percent of the counterfeit goods confiscated in France in 2005.
And the customs authorities say they are observing a worrying phenomenon.
For many years a popular transit point for fake goods, France is rapidly becoming a “destination” country for the products.
“Almost half of the copies seized were destined for the domestic market compared with 19 percent in 2002 and less than five percent in 2001,” said Francois Mongins, the director-general of France’s customs body.
“France is now a market for counterfeits of all kinds, whether it be ink cartridges for printers, toys, car parts and so on.”
He is also alarmed that the phenomenon is being fuelled by the Internet and said buyers should remember that faked goods fund criminal networks.
Counterfeiting once concerned mainly luxury goods, but it has spread into almost every type of consumer goods, including food, household goods ranging from frying pans to irons, and children’s toys.
The World Trade Organisation says 4.4 million counterfeited food products and alcoholic beverages were seized in the European Union in 2004. It also believes that one medicine in 10 is a fake, generating a market in pharmaceutical counterfeiting worth 20 billion to 30 billion dollars