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With four of the nine countries that have the biggest physical markets for counterfeits, Latin America is facing serious challenges in tackling fake goods, explains María del Pilar Troncoso of ASIPI.
Counterfeiting is a common practice that is not limited by geography. Unfortunately, it involves crimes concerning all subjects and levels, and in the last few decades it has become a serious issue that requires further analysis and discussion. This is because not only governments and trademark owners are economically harmed by it, but the health, physical integrity and wellbeing of citizens are also deeply affected. The growth in the standard of living of consumers, as well as the rise of communication, has led to a dangerous increase in counterfeiting.
Traditionally, Asian countries have been associated with a widespread counterfeiting culture, but in the last few decades Latin America has also become a hotspot for the manufacture and acquisition of forgeries and fake goods. Some Latin American countries have experienced political unrest and economic difficulties, which has led to a rise in the markets for counterfeit goods because there are many low income consumers with an interest in acquiring products with a brand name.
This problem is by no means a new trend, and the experiences of other regions have served as a reference for authorities in the Latin American region. Although our governments have striven to protect intellectual property owners, their work and investments, unfortunately they could not foresee the consequences of the internet, globalisation and the fast pace of technological development.
María del Pilar Troncoso, ASIPI, trademark, counterfeit, IP protection,