A recent report from the Organisation for Economic and
Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirms what has been known
for a long time: that counterfeiting and piracy of tangible goods
is a major impediment to global trade, and is only getting worse.
Entitled "Magnitude of Counterfeiting and Piracy of Tangible
Products — November 2009 update," the report updates
a previous major study
on counterfeiting undertaken by the OECD in
2008. The report estimates that global trade in counterfeit and
pirated tangible goods more than doubled in this decade to
approximately $250 billion US in 2007, up from just over $100
billion US in 2001.
Apart from the growing total value of trade in counterfeit and
pirated products, the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in
world trade also seems to have grown. Between 2000 and 2007, the
report estimates that counterfeited and pirated products increased
their share in total world trade from 1.85 per cent in 2000 to 1.95
per cent in 2007. The OECD points out that this increase is
significant, given that world trade more than doubled over that
The OECD made several recommendations for measures to address
the growing problem, including: developing more effective
enforcement means, raising awareness of and building public support
to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and improving legal and
McCarthy Tétrault Notes:
The report is a useful reminder of the problem and reinforces
the need for a global agreement like the Anti-Counterfeiting
Trade Agreement to address the problem.
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