Product counterfeiting is a thriving multi-billion dollar global industry. It is highly profitable and the risks of significant legal consequences are low. From CD's and DVD's to high-end handbags, sunglasses and pharmaceuticals -- no products are immune from the potential for counterfeiting.
Counterfeiters will copy and sell anything that turns a profit without regard to quality, safety or the law. They manufacture goods as cheaply as possible with the single goal of maximizing their return. The costs of counterfeiting are shared by all -- consumers, manufacturers, retailers, communities and entire economies.
For almost 15 years, UL has taken an aggressive stance against counterfeiting through a comprehensive program that involves law enforcement agencies from around the world. UL works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, the RCMP, INTERPOL and other law enforcement agencies around the world to provide them with the information necessary to distinguish between authentic and counterfeit UL Marks.
Since 1995, there have been thousands of seizures of counterfeit products at entry ports from coast to coast; preventing millions of products bearing counterfeit UL Marks from reaching consumers. In addition, UL has mandated the use of holographic labels for product categories targeted by counterfeiters.
UL has a zero tolerance policy for counterfeit goods and does not consent to the import, export, or manipulation of seized merchandise carrying a counterfeit UL Mark. The mission of UL's anti-counterfeiting program is three-fold -- first and foremost, to protect the safety of consumers around the world from the hazards of counterfeit electrical products, secondly, to preserve the integrity of UL's family of Marks, and finally, to provide additional value to the legitimate, responsible manufacturers that have invested the time and resources to meet UL's safety standards.
Roughly 20 billion UL Marks appear on products entering the stream of commerce each year. Although counterfeit UL Marks have been detected on electrical products, this represents only a small fraction of all UL Marks used annually. However, even one counterfeit UL Mark is one too many, given the safety concerns involved in the certification of electrical products.
UL introduces new holographic label to combat counterfeiters
UL recently introduced a holographic UL Mark that will be required in 32 common consumer product areas including power supply cords, nightlights and ceiling fans. The redesigned label incorporates cutting-edge technology, elevated security features, and a unique hologram design making it easy to identify and validate yet incredibly difficult to replicate.
INTERPOL IP Crime Programme
- Working with the international police community and other stakeholders to
fight transnational organized counterfeiting and piracy
- INTERPOL Intellectual Property Rights Programme Review 2008