New York, NY
– June 2, 2014
– Next month thousands of football fans around the world will buy memorabilia to commemorate the FIFA World Cup. Many of them will be victims of counterfeiting and inadvertently support organized crime. The International Trademark Association (INTA) is asking football fans to be vigilant and to help thwart counterfeiting activity.
Counterfeit merchandise may appear genuine at first and cost less but, at the end of the day, is not a good deal. A genuine FIFA home jersey costs between US$90 and $150 / R$201 and R$335 on FIFA’s online store. The same product found on third-party commerce sites is going for as little as US$25 / R$56 and as much as $110 / R$246. In some instances these third party products are clearly fake, others are more difficult to spot. But in every instance these items are poorly made using low grade materials that do not meet safety standards.
“The sale of counterfeit goods finances organized crime such as the trafficking of drugs and weapons. It is also important to remember that the money spent on fake FIFA memorabilia is untaxed, is diverted from the workers that made the product, the R&D to improve the product, and the funding needed to host the tournament. In other words, the money spent does not go back into the economy,” said INTA President Mei-lan Stark. “We’re calling on all football fans to protect themselves and others by not purchasing counterfeit goods.”
World Cup fans can protect themselves and help thwart counterfeiting activity by taking the following steps when making a purchase:
- Be careful of cash transactions on the street. A hurried transaction for merchandise will likely leave you with counterfeit goods.
- Look for the authentication features, including hang tags, official sew-in labels, correct use of trademarks, legal notice, etc., especially when purchasing official FIFA products.
- Examine the overall quality of the item, giving special attention to the stitching for irregularity or discoloration.
- Look out for obvious flaws such as incorrectly spelt player and team names.
- Be cautious of items with prices that are uncharacteristically low.
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,400 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 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 and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.