Counterfeiting of prestigious brand products and copies of literary and artistic works are part of the reality in many countries. Piracy brings negative consequences both for the economy and for the holders of the distinctive signs, the end-users, among others affected. If you want to know more about this topic, continue reading this publication that our international brand advisory group has prepared for you.
According to Unesco, piracy "covers the reproduction and distribution of copies of works protected by copyright, as well as their transmission to the public or their making available on online communication networks, without the authorization of the rightful owners, when such authorization is legally necessary ".
Also, there is talk of piracy when intellectual property is violated by falsifying products to obtain benefits, elements such as trademarks and patents are used without authorization to take advantage of the inventiveness and prestige of others. Currently, pirates copy different types of products: clothing, wallets, footwear, electronic equipment, medicines, food, drinks, spare parts, computer programs, among others.
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In the world of piracy, there are different types of counterfeits. Depending on their ability to deceive potential buyers, we can find low-quality ones, purchased by customers who know they are illegal but are so cheap that they consider it worth taking the risk; those of medium quality, bought by people who know little about the products they want to buy and whose price is determined by their level of ignorance: the less the customer knows, the greater the amount to pay; and those of high quality, which are offered in order to scam consumers, since their price is very close to that of the original product.
Consequences of piracy
When a trademark is a victim of piracy, its owner suffers economic losses due to the number of products that he has stopped selling. The illegal use of its distinctive sign produces income for one or more offenders, in this way, the legitimate owner of the distinctive sign receives less profit; In addition, your inventory may lose value or even be damaged.
The increase in the supply of pirated merchandise generates a decrease in formal companies in operation, and those that are still operating have a lower requirement of personnel; Both situations result in unemployed people.
Gavel and judge signing a trademark registration decision Another negative effect of piracy is the deterioration of the reputation of the trademark, which occurs when the buyer thinks that the good or service acquired is the original and blames the owner of the poor quality. authentic brand. In the long run, this can cause the product to go off the market due to declining buyers. This situation is more likely to occur if there is a large supply of very low-quality knockoffs.
On the other hand, the counterfeiting of goods generates a decrease in income to the State, since the offenders do not pay taxes for the production, import, distribution, and commercialization of their products.
We cannot fail to mention who is at the end of the distribution channel, one of the main affected by this activity: the end-user. Without a doubt, piracy affects consumer assets. On some occasions, depending on the type of product, it harms your health and even your life is compromised. These risks arise when, for example, food, beverages, cosmetics, medicines, toys, vehicle parts, among other goods, are counterfeited.
Importance of trademark registration against piracy
Registering your trademark is a tool that will allow you to take legal action against those who misuse your distinctive sign. If you do not register your trademark in the territories in which you distribute your products and someone else does it before you, this may accuse you of producing pirated merchandise, since you would be using the distinctive sign of another person without their permission, which would result in the prohibition the use of the brand you created, the payment of fines, among other consequences.