SAN FRANCISCO — During Monday Night Football in Oakland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco partnered with NFL brand security representatives and state and local law enforcement officers to prevent counterfeit sales.
Monday’s seizures are part of a larger trend the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has tracked throughout the country. The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) is reviewing an annual report on the number of IPR seizures that have raised the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the seized goods – had they been genuine – to $1.4 billion.
“The lost revenue equals lost jobs and counterfeit materials typically contain substandard products and can also be a safety risk to the public,” King said.
Although counterfeiters are increasingly more sophisticated, fans can keep several key factors in mind when making purchases to avoid being victimized:
- Shop at authorized retail locations, such as the official team stores rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, online auctions or other questionable sources
- Buy tickets from authorized dealers
- Look out for ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel
- If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. While some counterfeiters may attract fans with a low price tag or 2-for-1 deal, just as many try to legitimize their merchandise with a higher price point.
“Oakland Raiders fans attending the first game of the season deserve genuine products and the proceeds of counterfeit merchandise ends up in the hands of transnational criminal organizations engaged in varying types of illegal activities,” King added.
Purchasing authorized merchandise guarantees the quality and life of that souvenir, while also providing a reputable source for concerns, returns, and exchanges.
The HSI-led IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 25 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.
To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit the http://www.iprcenter.gov/.