The anti-piracy consortium Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) of the France-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) estimates that the yearly global economic and social impact of counterfeiting and piracy at $775 billion. This huge figure is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2015.
This, the ICC and World Customs Organisation (WCO), believe that counterfeiting drains an estimated amount of 600 billion Euros per year from the global economy, equivalent to the loss of about 5-7% of trade in brand-name goods worldwide, the Anti-Counterfeiting (ACF) Marketing Programme Manager at Hewlett Packard (HP), Tina Rose has revealed.
The revelation comes at a time when the Ghana's Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is battling Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited, a leading pharmaceutical marketing and distribution firm in Ghana, over a similar issue.
Nearly nine million units of counterfeit products and components have been seized in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, according to the HP's senior officials.
Speaking at an anti-counterfeit live demo event held in Accra to demonstrate HP's latest Mobile Authentication solutions, Madam Rose expressed concern at the impact of counterfeit products on businesses around the country.
She said: "Counterfeiting poses a huge challenge to brands and businesses in Ghana and many other countries around the world. Counterfeiters harm manufacturers and customers by consistently undermining business standards and practices. Counterfeiting is bad news for everyone, as it dishonestly generates billions of dollars, and threatens the reputation of global brands such as ours. It also harms consumers by creating low quality products with unknown chemicals which damage printers, and could harm the environment."
Madam Rose explained that the need to put a permanent end to such illicit activities makes it imperative that HP leads the way with awareness campaigns and innovation.
She added: "The war against counterfeiters is constantly evolving, and we remain steadfast in our resolve, which is why we always look for new ways to tackle counterfeiting in our various markets across the world."
Madam Rose described the event as one way to do this by proactively educating customers and partners to be vigilant against fake printing supplies.
On measures put in place to fight counterfeiting, she disclosed that HP, cooperating with local authorities, had, in the last four years, conducted more than 1,000 investigations, resulting in over 800 enforcement actions in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
The company also runs extensive Anti-Counterfeiting (ACF) programmes in the region, Madam Rose added.
The Marketing Manager for HP in West Africa, Tolulope Lawani, explained the latest sophisticated security technology on HP printer cartridges, and reiterated the company's determination to promote consumers against the deceitful and illegal actions of counterfeiters.
Mr. Lawani said: "Through the Anti-counterfeit Programme, HP is working hard to protect partners and customers, and ensure they receive only authentic supplies, by making it difficult to produce, distribute and sell counterfeits. HP has been tackling counterfeiting in three main ways: awareness, product packaging, and enforcement. As part of this programme, we have introduced HP Mobile Authentication technology on new original HP print cartridges."