It is not a victimless crime to steal someone else's intellectual property: Purchasing counterfeit products supports lawbreakers and potentially supports organised crime indirectly. Customs fights it - see what they did for watches.
Buying fake watches means you rob legal goods creators of their income and dampen creativity and innovation. You put your loved ones' health and safety in danger, as well as the individuals who work in the manufacturing and retail retailing products that violate intellectual property rights.
Customs agencies are at the forefront of the fight to prevent products that violate intellectual property rights from reaching a market. However, without customer demand, commerce in pirated and counterfeit products would not exist.
362 counterfeit designer watches
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized two shipments containing 362 counterfeit designer watches. The items were deemed to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the agency’s trade experts, and if genuine, would have had a combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) over $2 million.
Both the shipments were arriving from China. When CBP officers examined the shipment to determine the admissibility of the goods, they found 362 watches displaying the logos of Rolex, Michael Kors, Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, and Pandora. The items were poorly packaged and constructed, and were missing serial numbers, among other noted inconsistencies from genuine products. CBP officers seized the watches for infringing on the designer’s protected trademarks. The shipment was heading to a residence in Mesquite, Texas, and had the watches been genuine, the MSRP would have been over $2.43 million.
Counterfeit jewelry is often forged with lead and other hazardous materials unbeknownst to the buyer. These seizures protect the rights of the intellectual property rights holder, the health and safety of people, and the reputation of online marketplaces involved in these transactions.
The illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods offers criminals a complementary source of income and a way through which they can launder money. Additionally, monies received from the sale of counterfeit products can be channeled towards the further production of fake goods or other illicit activities. Additionally, counterfeiting is a hugely profitable business, with criminals relying on the continued high demand for cheap goods coupled with low production costs.
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