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SGMA Is Focused on Stopping On-Line Sales of Counterfeit Products

Date: 11/28/11

SILVER SPRING, MD – November 28, 2011 -- Cyber Monday is great for business…and, unfortunately, counterfeiters, as well!  As consumers search for deals on-line throughout the holiday season, many will be lured into buying counterfeit products.  Foreign-based Internet sites are hard to police and many have become very sophisticated at deceiving consumers into purchases of fake products. 

“SGMA is actively promoting legislation in Congress that gives U.S. law enforcement agencies greater powers to shut down foreign-based sites engaged in counterfeit sales,” said SGMA President Tom Cove.

Counterfeit sales have grown to new heights in the digital-age due to the easy access to fake products via the Internet and lax laws governing Internet content.  What once was confined to a table on a street corner has now transformed into a multi-billion dollar industry.  As a result, counterfeiters are now literally stealing money from legitimate businesses.  The ‘trickle-down effect’ of on-line counterfeit sales is hurting the U.S. economy through lost jobs and reduced tax revenue.

“The fake products can create a health and safety hazard,” said Bill Sells, SGMA’s vice president of government relations.  “And the reputations of brands can be harmed, as well.”     

SGMA is urging Congress to pass legislation that will disrupt the ‘rogue’ website business model by requiring Internet search engines to not include sites known to be selling counterfeit products and financial service providers that process payments to not accept transactions from ‘rogue’ websites.  To successfully counter on-line sales of counterfeits, law enforcement needs the authority to force Internet search engines and financial institutions to cooperate, when there is clear evidence of counterfeit sales.  The legislation pending in Congress will give law enforcement the tools needed to force providers to cooperate in an effort to curb counterfeit sales via the Internet.  

On January 19, 2012 SGMA’s Legal Task Force will host a webinar on intellectual property issues.  For more information and to register please click here.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA leads the sports and fitness industries while enhancing industry vitality and fostering sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation.  More information about SGMA can be found at www.sgma.com.

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