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November 28 2011

Knockoff Monday

Nicole Kurokawa Neily

 

Another interesting element of “Cyber Monday”? Counterfeit sales and crooks taking advantage of holiday shoppers seeking a deal. According to Fox News, a joint operation from the Department of Justice, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, and the FBI shut down 150 sites selling counterfeit goods like jerseys, Ugg boots, and Puma shoes.

As I’ve written before, counterfeit goods have a significant direct effect on jobs – including jobs lost in the legal creation, manufacturing and sales of the products, as well as the front-of-house operations like marketing, public relations, and design. Plus… we’re not exactly in a position to shed those jobs.

According to a January 2011 report by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center:

“Based on the latest U.S. official data, we estimate that, in 2008, IP companies in manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors employed more than 19 million full- and part-time (headcounts) workers and accounted for 16.3 percent of U.S. full- and part-time employment. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. manufacturing jobs and 9.3 million workers (full- and part-time) were in IP companies and less than 10 percent of U.S. non-manufacturing jobs and 9.8 million workers (full- and part-time) were in IP companies.”

Of course, there are secondary effects on innovation, too. Why would anyone spend their time and money creating a unique product when they know that the design will be ripped off and reproduced?

At the end of the day, you may save a few bucks buying counterfeit… but your purchases will have a serious effect on the economy. And let’s be honest – your gift recipient doesn’t want a knockoff present anyway.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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