Document Type

Student Article


Christian Louboutin. Manchester United. Agent Provocateur. In a world where trademarks have become more than brand identifiers, counterfeit versions of brands should be easily identifiable. Yet counterfeiting regimes from Asian countries continue to funnel counterfeit goods through the United States and European Union borders. Both regions continue to impose stricter anti-counterfeiting laws and regulations. Nevertheless, companies in the United States, Italy, and France are drastically affected by counterfeiting, losing billions per year in revenue. The International Chamber of Commerce’s (“ICC”) Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (“BASCAP”) and the International Trademark Association (“INTA”) estimate that the value of international and domestic trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in 2013 ranged from $710–$917 billion. BASCAP and INTA predict that by 2022, the value of business in counterfeit and pirated goods could reach $991 billion. Asian countries produce more than 70% of all counterfeit goods with the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) and Hong Kong as the leading provenance economies for counterfeiting. China’s proliferation of counterfeit goods stems from economic, social, and political forces that influence China’s socialist market economy. On average, 20% of consumer products in the Chinese market are counterfeit goods. The counterfeiting industry continues to cripple various countries including the United States, Italy, and France, costing corporations billions in revenue and placing consumers in significant financial and health risk. The substantial impact of counterfeiting on the global economy has spurred the United States, Italy, and France to impose strict anti-counterfeiting laws and regulations. The United States anti-counterfeiting arsenal to protect trademark owners includes civil enforcement under the Lanham Act 15 U.S.C. § 1051 and criminal enforcement under 18 U.S.C. § 2320. Italy and France impose similar laws and regulations but also take their anti-counterfeiting mechanism further by seeking stricter criminal penalties for manufacturers, distributors, and consumers. This Article explains the regulatory and legal anti-counterfeiting mechanisms adopted by the United States and the European Union, specifically Italy and France, to illustrate the international legal and regulatory tools used to reduce the economic hardships of counterfeiting.



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