Counterfeit Goods

Information and statistics about counterfeiting and the sale of counterfeit goods. Estimated losses from counterfeits, markets where fake goods are sold, and other piracy statistics are collected from criminal justice programs and public information sources.

A counterfeit identification ring in Puerto Rico was selling fake id cards such as social security numbers, birth certificates and drivers licenses at a price of $2,500 a set.

The ring was selling the fake id cards and documents to illegal immigrants in the United States.

Source: “ICE Takes Down Mega Fake I.D. Ring in Puerto Rico,” Fox News Latino, January 12, 2012.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized 24,792 items of counterfeit goods during the Fiscal 2011 year. The value of the counterfeit goods was worth $178.9 Million.

The number of fake goods seized in FY2011 was higher than the 19,959 counterfeit goods seized in FY2010.

The highest number of counterfeit goods that was seized by officials was counterfeit electronic devices, with a majority of those devices being counterfeit cell phones.

$124.7 Million of the counterfeits originated from China, representing 62 percent of the total value.

Source: John P. Mello Jr., “Feds Seize $179M in Counterfeit Goods in 2011,” PC World, January 9, 2012.

In 2011, over 60,000 replica clothing and apparel items featuring college athletic teams were seized by the Collegiate Licensing Company. The value of the counterfeit goods was worth over $1 Million.

The company also reported that nearly 5,000 pieces of counterfeit goods such as shirts and hats are seized each year outside the stadium where the BCS Championship game is played.

Revenue from licensed collegiate athletics generates $4.3 Billion a year for the schools.

Source: Kristi Dosh, “Cracking down on counterfeit apparel,” ESPN, SEC Blog, January 8, 2012.

Authorities in China reported seizing over 52 million items of pirated publications, pornography and other types of illicit content in 2011.

31.5 million audio and video items were seized, along with 6.6 million books and 988,000 digital copies of publications. 1.8 million online posts were also taken down due to its illicit content.

The number of pirated content and porn seized was higher in 2011 than the reported 44 million items seized in 2010.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service, “52 mn pirated, porn publications seized in China in 2011,” MSN India, January 6, 2012.

During raids conducted in December 2011, authorities seized over 100,000 pirated books in Pakistan, with a majority of the book being seized in the city of Lahore.

Every year, the government of Pakistan losses up to $221 Million (20 Billion Pakistan Rupees) in tax revenue due to the pirating of intellectual property within the country.

Source: Aroosa Shaukat, “Intellectual property: Lahore declared ‘centre of book piracy’,” Express Tribune, January 5, 2012.


At the end of 2011, an estimated 20 percent of all ebooks downloaded on to ereaders were believed to have been pirated.

In the United Kingdom, the Publishers Associated issued 115,000 legal notices to websites who were offering free pirated copies of books, an increase of 130 percent from the number of notices sent out in 2010.

(More pirated books statistics.)

Source: Sean Poulter, “Online pirates threaten Kindle profits as thousands turn to sites to download free eBooks,” Daily Mail, January 1, 2012.

Officials in India estimate that the country losses up to $5 Billion a year to counterfeits made in China.

Source: IANS, “Made in India, faked in China- $5bn loss,” Times of India, January 1, 2012.

The movie “Fast Five” was the most pirated movie in 2011, downloaded 9.3 million times using BitTorrent technology, according to TorrentFreak.

Following “Fast Five was “The Hangover Part II” (8.8 million downloads), “Thor” (8.3 million), “Source Code” (7.9 million), and “I Am Number Four” (7.7 million).

In 2010, “Avatar” was the most pirated movie, being downloaded 16.5 million times.

Source: Ben Fritz, “‘Fast Five’ tops most pirated movies of 2011 on BitTorrent,” Los Angeles Times, Company Town, December 27, 2011.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported 19,960 counterfeit goods seizures in the United States in 2010, an increase of 34 percent of the number of seizures in 2009.

Source: Stephanie Clifford, “Officials Seize Counterfeit Holiday Goods and Make Numerous Arrests,” New York Times, December 21, 2011.

During July 2009 and July 2011, police in China investigated over 42,000 cases of counterfeit drugs and shut down 1,093 illegal websites that were selling fake drugs.

Source: “China to maintain iron-handed policy on counterfeit drugs,” Xinhua, December 20, 2011.