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.

Piracy of paid television in the Arab region causes losses of $500 Million a year, according to a media research firm. 8 percent of Arab households that watch television actually pay for the services through cable or satellite. The remaining 92 percent of views in the region pirate the broadcast.

In Lebanon, an estimated 99 percent of television viewers are pirating their cable signal. In Egypt, around 10 million households are receiving pirated cable feeds.

Source: Ben Flanagan, “Piracy hijacks growth of pay-TV,” National, November 3, 2011.

A laboratory study at St. Andrews University found that counterfeit Scotch whiskies had less than 40 percent alcohol characteristics of authentic single malt whiskies.

Source: Dean Nelson, “Indians invent laser test to identify fake whisky,” Telegraph, November 2, 2011.

Brand protection firm MarkMonitor reported finding over 23,000 listings of counterfeit tablets for sale across the Internet in one single day in July 2011.

75 percent of the counterfeits were made and shipped from Asia.

Source: Josh Lowensohn, “Tablet knockoffs running rampant, brand firm says,” CNET, November 1, 2011.

The drug inspector for the United States Food and Drug Administration reported that 80 percent of the active ingredient in medical drugs and 40 percent of all finished medical drugs are imported in to the United States from other countries. Due to the high level of imports, the potential risk for counterfeit drugs entering the supply chain is high.

After counterfeit drugs of heparin were imported from China in 2007, the FDA increased drug inspections in China from a few in 2007 to over 80 in 2010.

Source:Associated Press, “China cracks fake drug ring, seizing 114, as US FDA official urges vigilance,” Washington Post, October 31, 2011.

Authorities in China reported seizing around 707 million pirated and counterfeit goods during the years between 2001-2010.

Source: Xinhua, “China confiscates 700 million pirated items in ten years: white paper,” Xinhuanet, October 27, 2011.


Major League Baseball seizes around 6oo,000 pieces of counterfeit items bearing the logo of baseball teams every year. The amount of counterfeit baseball merchandise increases in availability during the postseason.

Over a ten year span, Major League Baseball conducted 5,000 counterfeit goods seizures and enforcement actions.

(Additional counterfeit goods statistics.)

Source: Lisa Brown, “MLB goes on offensive against counterfeiters at World Series,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, October 21, 2011.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations reported that there are an estimated 1.4 million gang members in the United States in 2011.

Many gangs in the country, such as the Bloods and Crips, are invovled in financial crimes such as mortgage fraud, identity theft and selling counterfeit goods.

Source: Jeremy Pelofsky, “Gangs growing, turning to financial crimes: FBI,” Reuters, October 21, 2011.

The 2011 Major League Baseball World Series had Game 1 held in the city of St. Louis, Missouri on October 19. During game 1 of the series, St. Louis police seized over 1,100 counterfeit shirts and caps throughout the city.

Source: “Counterfeit baseball merchandise seized,” KSDK, October 20, 2011.

The counterfeit goods market in Turkey is estimated to be worth $6 Billion in 2011, double the market value of $3 Billion in 2010.

Fake handbags are the most counterfeited product made and sold in Turkey.

Source: Constanze Letsch, “Turkey cracks down on counterfeit goods,” Guardian, October 17, 2011.

Software companies lost $13.5 Billion in potential revenue in Europe due to software piracy in 2010.

About 35 percent of all software installed on computers across Europe are pirated. In the United States, the software piracy rate is 20 percent.

France had the highest rate of financial impact from software piracy, with $2.6 Billion, followed by Germany with $2.1 Billion, Italy with $1.9 Billion, and the United Kingdom with $1.8 Billion in losses.

Source: Katie Linsell, “Losing $13.5 Billion to Piracy Spurs Europe Law Reformers: Tech,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, October 17, 2011.