Counterfeiting Battles and Combating Repeat Infringers

By Gene Quinn
July 7, 2017

Mention counterfeiting and what many ordinary citizens immediately think about is counterfeit currency.  Indeed, counterfeiting of money is one of the oldest crimes in history. Counterfeiting currency in the United States was a serious problem during the 19th century when banks issued their own U.S. currency, with approximately 1,600 state banks designing and printing their own notes. The adoption of a national currency in 1863 was believed to be the solution for the problem, but counterfeiting was so widespread that on July 5, 1865, the United States Secret Service was established to suppress counterfeiting.  Although substantially curtailed, counterfeiting of money still remains a threat to the U.S. economy.

Mention counterfeiting and what a person who specializes in intellectual property thinks about is the growing amount of counterfeit goods that flood the market costing hundreds of billions of dollars of damage to the economy.


Counterfeiting is an enormous problem for businesses all over the world. Counterfeiters rip off name brand products, making cheap knock-offs, easily costing brand owners billions of dollars each year. For example, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in 2013 the total value of counterfeit and pirated goods was $461 billion. Furthermore, making matters more difficult for law enforcement is the growing reality that 63% of seized fakes were shipped by postal and express services. This makes the fight against counterfeits a never-ending battle for brands.

If 63% of seized counterfeit goods are discovered through routine and legal shipping channels what is the true magnitude of the problem? Despite best efforts does anyone believe U.S. Officials catch 100% of counterfeits entering the United States?

Counterfeiting is a far bigger story than loses to big companies and the associated loss of downstream economic activity.  Those that support counterfeiters by buying knock-off goods are also increasingly supporting organized crime, including drug cartels and terrorist organizations, who are increasingly looking to the generous profits that can be earned and exceptionally low jail terms even if they do get caught.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of Read more.

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