Nike named most counterfeited brand

The second edition of the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) Illicit Trade Report has revealed the most counterfeited brands by number of customs cases in 2013. Nike took the top spot, with Apple in second place.

The report provides a comparative analysis of trends and patterns in key risk areas of enforcement, including IP rights, based on customs seizures reported through the WCO Customs Enforcement Network database by its members.

With regard to IP rights, one of the main features in 2013 was that more than half of the reported interceptions were illicit pharmaceutical products, followed by electronic appliances and foodstuffs. In contrast, in 2012 the majority of intercepted commodities were accessories, followed by clothing and pharmaceutical products. Another emerging trend was the increase in cases of domestic assembly in order to circumvent customs controls (small parts and blank products are imported separately and assembled in the country of destination).

The top 15 most counterfeited brands by number of cases in 2013 were:

1. Nike (1,123 cases)

2. Apple (867)

3. Rolex (809)

4. Samsung (631)

5. Adidas (532)

6. Louis Vuitton (497)

7. Chanel (464)

8. Cialis (425)

9. Viagra (365)

10. Gucci (307)

11. Michael Kors (285)

12. OtterBox (223)

13. Burberry (191)

14. Mac Cosmetics (182)

15. Walt Disney (182)

Although there was a rise in IP rights seizures in 2013, the report notes: “This tremendous increase in the number of counterfeit items is partly due to the success of two large-scale enforcement operations.” However, while the data is affected by enforcement initiatives, it offers a glimpse into general counterfeiting patterns, particularly with regard to the strategies used by infringers to evade detection.

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