“Customs officials have seized 10,000 counterfeit Olympic flags at Heathrow Airport. The flags, which display the Olympic rings on a white background, could be sold for about £100,000, the Border Force said. They were sent from China and were due to be delivered to an importer in Norwood, south London. The importer of the flags is not thought to have been aware they were fakes. The Border Force revealed its officers seized the flags last week. Locog confirmed they were not official merchandise and they will now be destroyed. Border Force Heathrow director Marc Owen said: "Counterfeiting is not a harmless crime - it is a huge criminal business estimated to cost the UK economy around £1.3 billion a year.” For the gangs behind it, it is low-risk and high-reward. "In the run-up to the Olympics we have been working closely with Locog to thwart those who would seek to illegally profit from the Games and protect UK consumers from the fakers." Locog commercial director Chris Townsend said: "Fake products not only undermine our ability to raise the revenues needed to stage and host the London 2012 Games, but the fake goods themselves are likely to be of inferior quality." (From: BBC News July 2012). Although people know that buying counterfeit is not a legal action. Why there still many people like to buy counterfeit and still many illegal businesses continue to sell counterfeit goods? This essay will mainly research about counterfeit. In this essay, firstly, this essay will define counterfeit and distinguish between counterfeit, fakes, piracy and look alike products. Secondly, this essay will use some consumer behavior theories to explain those factors motivate buying counterfeits. Lastly, this essay will analyze some positive impact and some negative impact of counterfeit brand to authentic brand.
Counterfeits are those products imitated illegally. Moreover, counterfeits also can be defined as copying or duplicating a product using a registered trademark without authorization or in fringe upon the legal right to the copy of right but customer cannot distinguish it easily from real one. For example, the money is not produced by the proper authorities who can be defining as counterfeited money. It is obviously that product counterfeiting is any unauthorized manufacturing or distribution of goods whose special characteristics are protected via IP rights (trademarks, patents and copyrights) and sold at cheaper price with real product. Counterfeit or fake luxury goods have been seemed as a threat to the luxury brands around the world for many centuries. It is easy to get confuse about counterfeit, fake, piracy and look alike products. There are essentially four kinds of "fake" goods: counterfeit Product, piracy Product, and Fake product and look-alike Products. Counterfeit Product is a 100% copy of the original luxury product stay the same price with authentic brand product. It is made to deceive or trick the consumer into buying it, thinking that it is the real thing. Customer cannot easy to distinguish it from real brand product. For example, Counterfeit money is currency that is produced without the legal sanction of the state or government to resemble some official form of currency closely enough that it may be confused for genuine currency. Producing or using counterfeit money is a form of fraud. Piracy Product is a copy of the luxury brand. However, it is not made to deceive the consumer because it is cheaper than original product. Consumers buy it knowing that it is a piracy product. Common ways this is done are by copying music onto or from a cassette, CD, a hard drive or the Internet. Pirate products are not necessarily packaged in the same way as the original. Look-alike Product is made to look similar but not identical to the luxury brand. Consumers buying a Look-alike product often not know that it is not the real product at the moment of purchase. One example is...