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Counterfeiting annual global impact on printing is $3 billion

April 10, 2014

HP mobile authenticationHP study finds 10 percent of world trade is made up of counterfeit, pirate and grey-market products.

ITWeb reported on the findings of a HP study into global counterfeiting, which indicates that the printing and imaging technologies industry suffers a $3 billion (€2.1 billion) global loss annually due to counterfeiting; with the global economic and social impact of counterfeiting and piracy estimated at $775 billion (€559 billion) and expected to rise to $1.7 trillion (€1.2 trillion) by next year.

HP discussed its anti-counterfeiting actions across the EMEA region, where it has conducted nearly 1,000 investigations and seized almost nine million units of counterfeit printing supplies, products and components.

In terms of the impacts counterfeiting can have on enterprises, Nosipho Simelane, Printing Category Manager at HP SA, said that such products can cause downtime due to the damage they cause due to inferior quality, as well as “interruptions of entire printing infrastructure and workflow, and complaints and accusations directed towards purchase or IT departments”.

She added that as a result, HP has integrated anti-counterfeiting measures into devices; including “sophisticated packaging and security labels” and QR codes that can be scanned by mobile devices to verify the product’s authenticity.

The problem of counterfeiting has grown with the advancement of technology, with Simelane explaining: “These syndicates are getting so advanced that it’s getting harder to differentiate between the fake and the real […] counterfeiting used to be the domain of skilled criminals with expensive engraving and printing equipment. Not so today, thanks to advances in computer and printing technologies that have dramatically reduced the cost and difficulty of reproducing realistic-looking fakes.”

She continued: “This not only impacts the printing and imaging industry’s global trade and revenue, it also damages brands’ hard earned reputations and has negative effects on consumer confidence […] along with the considerable risks posed by counterfeit printing supplies to their brands, customers should also be made aware of the hidden costs of dealing with criminal organisations. Buying fake goods means they come with a shorter lifespan and a continuous spending cycle on the customer’s part.”

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