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A report predicting a continuing rise in counterfeiting will sound fresh alarm bells for producers and suppliers of goods, and for the protection of brands, warns the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).
The industry trade body points to the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the International Chamber of Commerce-commissioned report that estimates that the global economic value of counterfeiting and piracy could reach $2.3 trillion by 2022. It also confirms that China remains the biggest single source of counterfeit products, which span the spectrum from clothes, tobacco and alcohol through fake medicines to cosmetics and electronics.
The wider social, investment and criminal enforcement costs could push the figure higher, taking the total to more than £4 trillion with millions of ‘legitimate’ jobs at risk.
Counterfeiting has long been a part of international trade but the IHMA believes that the increasing pace of fake products reflects rapid globalisation of trade. Industrialisation, advanced printing and reproduction technologies, the impact of the internet, vulnerable supply chains, consumer power, weak or ineffectual regional law enforcement and lenient criminal penalties are also playing a part.
Manoj Kochar, pictured, chair of the IHMA, said: “The battle to defeat the counterfeiters remains far from won. Brand owners and those responsible for legislation must be alarmed at this latest report. More needs to be done – and quickly – to begin to stem the tide of counterfeit goods flooding onto the market. And this should include the wider integration of holograms as part of brand protection strategies.”
The IHMA says increasing adoption of security holography in places like India and east Europe strengthens its position as a frontline security feature in the anti-counterfeiting fight. They also ensure quality and check smuggled and illicit products while those items not displaying security holograms can be seized and destroyed.
Manoj Kochar said: “Holography has a key role as a highly effective, highly flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters. All involved in the supply chain will be reassured by the presence of holograms on products and recognise the benefits they provide.”
The use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated in ISO’s 12931 standard, on authentication solutions, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from the counterfeits says the IHMA.