Growing risk to consumers who purchase counterfeit FMCG products

A read of the European Union Intellectual Property Office's (EUIPO) 2019 Status Report on IPR infringement, will clearly alert the reader that the problem of Intellectual Property (IP) infringement is not slowing down. In fact, it is growing even more serious as the health & safety of consumers becomes a huge concern.

Infringers are taking advantage of cheaper production methods and improved technology to produce fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), such as cosmetics, toiletries and medicines, at a much quicker rate. This brings not only negative economic consequences but a huge risk to consumers who purchase the counterfeit goods. Fake FMCG items have been known to cause serious illness, allergic reactions, injury and even death due to poisonous chemicals.   

Despite these dangers, some consumers still knowingly purchase counterfeit goods. To understand why, the EUIPO carried out two IP Perception studies, in 2015 and 2017, and concluded that lower prices, easy accessibility and a high degree of social acceptability associated with such activities, are what continue to draw consumers in. In response to such attitude, the EUIPO, together with public and private partners, have said that they intend to undertake a number of actions, which includes providing citizens with information on the economic and social impact of purchasing counterfeit goods.

Yellow Brand Protection has recently launched an initiative, #ImForReal, to help raise awareness about these types of dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit goods, in addition to the other consequences of the illicit industry. We aim to raise consumer awareness to achieve our mission of ‘A Cleaner Internet. A Better Society’ and we’d love brands, IP professionals, industry bodies and anyone else who is passionate about this to support us. You can find out how at >


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