Fakes are adverse to public interest
Fake products causes lost jobs, hampers innovation and growth, may pose a threat to the health and safety of consumer and is often part of organised crime.
Counterfeit goods can be dangerous to the health of consumers and dangerous in other ways, because they are produced without any control by the authorities, and they do not meet safety regulations. This is true of medicines and toys as well as other types of goods, such as spare parts for cars and electrical appliances. Many products are manufactured in such a way that deviations may have fatal consequences for consumers. These products are usually subject to certain standards and authorisations. This is the case with food stuffs, beverages, medicines, hygienic products, toys, electrical components and apparatus, and components for cars and aeroplanes.
Contrary to the manufacturers of original products, counterfeiters usually do not comply with health and safety regulations. Therefore, counterfeit products can be hazardous to the health and safety of consumers. In addition, the consumers, buyers and importers have no way of finding out if the products meet the particular safety regulations.
Examples of the CE mark being misused also exist. The CE mark on a product signifies that the product is manufactured to meet the joint European minimum standard of health and safety. Many products cannot be marketed within the EU/EEC, unless they carry a CE mark. The certification scheme includes toys, building materials, and electrical and medical products. These days counterfeiting is so professional that the CE mark is copied alongside with products and trademarks. Thus, the CE mark on a counterfeit product is not a guarantee that the product meets the European standard. E.g., counterfeit electronics and machines may pose a safety risk, because they may break down, explode, self ignite, shock, etc. For a number of goods, the risk consists in the products containing substances which have not been approved. These include clothes or toys which contain illegal dyes or hygienic products containing illegal chemical substances. Contact with these products may sometimes lead to allergic reactions.
Counterfeit medicines are dangerous. They are beyond the control of authorities and oftentimes contain no active ingredients. Alternatively, they do contain active ingredients, but in the wrong dose and combination. In affluent countries, counterfeit medicines are mostly found among lifestyle drugs. In Denmark, no counterfeit medicines have been found within the legal distribution channels for medicines, as distribution is very well organised. Consequently, counterfeit medicines usually arrive in Denmark via the Internet.
Counterfeit goods pose a threat to vital economic interests of society. Counterfeiting not only infringes the economic interest of the individual rights holders, but has effect on general economic interests. As a knowledge society, the Danish society is increasingly dependent on innovation and creativity. Counterfeiting disturbs free competition between businesses, because counterfeiters gain an unfair advantage. In addition, counterfeiting is often linked to organised crime, and these groups thus benefit from the profits of counterfeit goods.