By Justin E. Pierce, Toy Industry Association
$27 million. That was the MSRP value of the counterfeit toys and electronic games seized by customs and border patrol last year alone. And that is only what was seized. Unfortunately, this is the reality of having a commercially successful toy or game. While you have invested sweat and equity into development, bringing it to market, and building your brand, you are now faced, as a result of your success, with counterfeiters that eat into your profits, infringe on your rights, and expose you to liability.
This is an all too common problem, particularly in light of the ease of the online marketplace. In fact, any company with a well-known brand or popular toy or game should assume that it is already being counterfeited. Likewise, any company with a global footprint that has distribution channels in different countries, with different regulatory schemes and pricing, should assume that various entities are working to take their profit margin by diverting products. Diversion of products into unauthorized sales channels and distribution of “gray market” goods (or parallel imports) causes significant losses for many companies.