Counterfeit Goods Industry Sees Global Growth

June 9, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. counterfeit / ˈkaʊn tərˌfɪt / (adj.) – made to look exactly like something else in order to fool people
Example: The counterfeit watch looks very similar to the original but it is much lighter.

2. pirate / ˈpaɪ rət / (v.) – to make illegal copies of something
Example: Some illegal manufacturers pirate luxury goods and sell them for much lower prices.

3. entice / ɛnˈtaɪs / (v.) – to lure someone, usually by offering something attractive or appealing
Example: The sale enticed him to drop by the mall.

4. market / ˈmɑr kɪt / (n.) – the group of people who have the desire and ability to purchase a product or a service
Example: The new theme park specifically caters to the teenage market.

5. intellectual property / ˌɪn tlˈɛk tʃu əl ˈprɒp ər ti / (n.) – original thoughts, ideas, or content owned by a person or organization
Example: An author’s books are her intellectual property.


Read the text below.
The value of the counterfeit goods industry reached a staggering worth of $461 billion globally.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international economic organization, reported that the business of manufacturing and selling fake goods recently experienced drastic growth.

The OECD, in cooperation with the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office, analyzed trends in goods seized by customs officials around the world from 2011 to 2013. Their analysis revealed that during the said period, counterfeit goods and products made up as much as 2.5% of the total imports worldwide.

According to the report, China ranks as the top manufacturer and exporter of counterfeits, accounting for 63.2% of the confiscated goods. The report also found that the products pirated the most are from American brands, followed by Italian, French, and Swiss brands.

Counterfeit manufacturers pirate a wide range of products, including garments and fashion accessories, pharmaceutical products, and even gadgets. Footwear is the product imitated the most, but the industry most affected by piracy is that of designer watches. Imitations of Swiss watch brands such as Rolex are sold at much lower prices, enticing buyers who look for cheaper alternatives.

The counterfeit goods industry caters to two types of markets. The primary market includes people who think that they are buying genuine products and pay prices close to the original. On the other hand, the secondary market includes those who knowingly seek and buy counterfeits and pay much cheaper prices.

The OECD warns that piracy inhibits economic growth because sales of counterfeit products go to criminals who steal intellectual property instead of manufacturers of original goods.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are possible harms and disadvantages of buying counterfeit products? Discuss.
·         In what ways can a country address piracy?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think is the counterfeit goods industry getting stronger?
·         How can consumers avoid unknowingly buying counterfeits?

June 9, 2016