The fight against counterfeiting is a battle which requires an approach on many levels.
It is estimated that counterfeit toys account for 12 per cent of the European toy market.
Counterfeiting is a danger for the health of the consumer whose undermines industries and makes criminal organisations more prosperous. Counterfeiting products can compromise the safety of children. The EU's legal framework was enforced and various industries joined their forces.
To ensure that the fight against counterfeiting and piracy remains a political priority in the EU. Toy industries have to alert decision makers and consumers to encourage all players to take action.
Competition is positive within any industry as long as all players compete fairly. Counterfeiting is a serious threat, it is controversial and it is actually difficult to estimate cost. We can say that the figures are simply alarming. The trade in counterfeit products accounts for approximately seven percent of global trade. In Europe the European commission has estimated the total number of jobs lost around 200; 000.Toy manufacturers constantly research and develop new kinds of toys to provide the highest quality product and a positive experience for child development. Counterfeit products may contain small parts, toxic substances and hazardous materials which contravene all safety standards, we have seen a lot of examples those last months.
[...] The direct costs of counterfeiting are largely borne by the legitimate industries that make and distribute the original products. Using a traditional measure of the cost of counterfeiting, in 2002 the toy industry lost gross sales of about 677 million euros to counterfeit products. The economic impact Industry world-wide loses large amounts to counterfeiters. These losses not only affect the producers of genuine items, but they also involve social costs. The ultimate victims of unfair competition are the consumers. They receive poor quality goods at an excessive price and are sometimes exposed to health and safety dangers. [...]
[...] It often happens that the design of the product is copied and sold under a similar, but not identical, trademark. This is harder to combat for the trademark owners, especially in Asia where design protection is not as strong as trademark protection. The danger for the consumer Counterfeiting of toys cause financial losses but, more importantly, it involves serious health and safety risks to children. The great danger is that counterfeit copies of products may not comply with safety standards and can cause injuries and death. [...]
[...] The current trend is to encourage the formation of national and international anti-counterfeiting groups in each industrialised nation. 2)Anti-counterfeiting technologies Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the problems of counterfeiting. All companies need to make sure that their trademarks are adequately protected. A number of technologies, such as holograms, smart cards, optical technology, biotechnology, biometric markers and inks, chemical and electronic fields can be employed to protect and authenticate genuine products. Some of the anti-counterfeiting technologies are found in the optical field and involve the use of light. [...]
[...] The overall costs of counterfeiting in the world today are normally estimated to be 5-7 per cent of toy world trade. Estimates in Europe imply that more than jobs are lost due every year to counterfeiting. The economic costs of counterfeiting for such victim country include job losses, missed sales opportunities and lost tax revenues. The governments of countries where counterfeits are sold will also have to expend increasing amounts of money in funding police and other investigation and enforcement operations. [...]
[...] Counterfeiting toys can seriously damage the health of consumers but the large increase in fake goods which are dangerous to health and safety is continuing. It is difficult to predict whether counterfeiting will decrease or increase in the foreseeable future. On the one hand, technological development is enabling counterfeiters to produce fakes relatively cheaply and easily. The distribution of fakes is becoming increasingly sophisticated through international networks and the range of products targeted has widened, increasing the total market for fakes. [...]
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