A new government report suggests that the vast majority of counterfeit products seized in the U.S are apparel, footwear, handbags and accessories. The U.S Trade Representative’s annual Special 301 Report, which assesses the enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights, found that 74% of seized items fall within those categories.
Though the total domestic value of seized goods fell by 12.2% in 2012, if the numbers are calculated by Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSPR), the value actually rose from $1.11 billion to $1.26 billion.
In response to the report, CEO Kevin Burke of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) released a statement calling for global action against counterfeit wearables: “When we get dressed each day, we wear more than clothes and shoes,” he said. “We wear the intellectual property that makes those clothes and shoes the most innovative, the most fashionable, and the most technologically advanced possible.”
Burke singled out global trademark infringement and “rogue websites,” which he said threaten “the creative power of more than four million U.S apparel and footwear industry workers.”