Special Report

9 Most Counterfeited Products in America

9. Labels / tags
> Percent of total seizures:
2%
> Number of seizures: 550
> MSRP of seized goods: $33.3 million

Labels and tags comprise 2% of all seized counterfeited products, the ninth largest share. Counterfeit items need fake tags and labels. Considering that the CBP does not count tags on fake clothing separately from the clothes, the true level of tag counterfeiting is likely far higher. The CBP seized 550 shipments of false tags such as those sewn in fabric labels and patches, adhesive stickers and holograms, stamped metal parts such as emblems, rivets, and zippers, as well as paper hang tags often used on clothing. Fake labels and tags are made for different counterfeit products, including all types of apparel, handbags, shoes, electronics, software, and much more. Many of the products using fake tags represent some of the most falsified products on this list.

8. Computers / accessories
> Percent of total seizures:
3%
> Number of seizures: 846
> MSRP of seized goods: $38.4 million

The U.S. government seized 846 shipments of counterfeit computers and computer accessories in fiscal 2015. While this comprised just 3% of all seizures, the problem of these falsified products is perhaps greater. Most alarming perhaps is the increased targeting of military systems by counterfeiters. The potential profits from selling computer parts capable of passing as military grade are enormous, and fake computer parts have actually been found in U.S. military weapons in recent years. In 2011, Boeing and the Navy reported a faulty counterfeit ice detection system in one of its P-8 Poseidons, a long-range, anti-submarine aircraft.

As Whittenburg noted, the illegal sale of these types of imitated products poses threats not just to the American economic but to its national security.

7. Optical media
> Percent of total seizures:
5%
> Number of seizures: 1,442
> MSRP of seized goods: $32.5 million

The number of shipments of optical media products such as games, DVDs, and CDs seized by the U.S. government increased slightly last year, from 1,322 in fiscal 2014 to 1,442 in fiscal 2015. The increase in the estimated value of these items was more substantial. The MSRP of falsified optical media rose from $18.8 million in fiscal 2014 to $32.5 million last year.

In the age of the Internet, the ease of distribution and the challenge of establishing intellectual property boundaries have grown considerably. These media increasingly sold in digital form, which makes the products far more vulnerable to theft than items sold in traditional mediums.