Press Releases

Becoming Informed Consumers on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day and Beyond

Published: June 5, 2018

New York, NY—June 6, 2018—On World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, June 6, 2018, the International Trademark Association (INTA) encourages all consumers to learn more about their consumer rights in an effort to make smart purchasing decisions in a global marketplace where the sale of counterfeit goods is on the rise. The necessary first step is understanding the impact of counterfeiting. 

Counterfeiting is defined as the manufacture, distribution, import, export, or sale of goods with a false trademark that is identical to, or substantially indistinguishable from, a registered trademark, and which is likely to confuse or deceive consumers. Fake goods pose a direct threat to the health and safety of consumers everywhere and directly hurt local economies in the form of job loss.

The impact of counterfeiting is growing exponentially. It is estimated that by 2022, the global total value of both counterfeit and pirated goods, including digital piracy, could reach US $2.8 trillion, according to a 2017 impact study, The Economic Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy, released by Frontier Economics and commissioned by INTA and the International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy. This compares to US $923 billion to US $1.13 trillion in 2013. Online sales of counterfeit goods are contributing to this trend.

In order to minimize the risk of purchasing counterfeit goods, INTA urges consumers to go straight to the source by shopping directly at authorized retail distributors both online and in stores. When shopping online, consumers should look for verifiable contact details for retailers, such as a mailing address and telephone number, and the availability of real-time customer service. 

“Counterfeiters are becoming so adept at producing and selling counterfeit goods that it is frequently difficult for shoppers to distinguish real versus fake,” said INTA President Tish Berard. “Consumers need to know that if the price of the item they are considering buying seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

INTA is committed to increasing awareness among consumers of all ages in all parts of the world about the dangers to health and safety posed by counterfeit goods. Among the Association’s myriad efforts to alert the public about counterfeits, INTA is reaching the next generation of consumers through its Unreal Campaign which educates students ages 14‒18 about the importance of trademarks and the dangers of counterfeit goods. To date, INTA has reached more than 11,000 students in 33 countries since the campaign began in 2012. 

In addition, INTA’s Unreal Campaign was selected as an exhibitor for the 2018 National Trademark Exposition, to be held on July 27-28 at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. Sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Expo will feature exhibits designed for families with school-age children, legal professionals, business owners, and government officials with an interest in learning more about trademarks. 

Since the fall, INTA has been hosting an exhibit, “The Power of Trademarks,” at the National Inventors Hall of Fame® at the USPTO, Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia. From interesting facts to interactive games that encourage visitors to put their shopping skills to the test to identify real versus fake products, the exhibit shines light on why trademarks are important to companies, consumers, and communities worldwide and offers visitors an opportunity learn how to make quick, safe, and smart purchasing decisions. The display runs through April 2019; the Hall of Fame is free and open to the public. 

 “On World Anti-Counterfeiting Day and year round, it is important for consumers to recognize the value of purchasing real goods as an essential way to protect public safety,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “From cosmetics to car parts to vitamins, almost every product you can think of can be counterfeited, creating large-scale implications for society at large.”

In another effort to protect consumers, INTA is encouraging trademark owners and Internet-related companies worldwide to review the Association’s voluntary best practices on how to address the proliferation of online sales of counterfeit products. The recommendations are contained in INTA’s recently released guide Addressing the Sale of Counterfeits on the Internet.

For more information on the National Inventors Hall of Fame® “The Power of Trademarks” exhibit, visit For more information on the Unreal Campaign, visit

About the International Trademark Association (INTA)

The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include more than 7,200 trademark owners, professionals, and academics from 191 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and New Delhi. For more information, please visit