October 31, 2016

Support America’s Pastime, not Anti-American Counterfeits


Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack®…and a t-shirt, a ball cap, and a pair of tickets to Game 6 of the World Series®.

Whether in the stands at iconic Wrigley Field® or Progressive Field® , or at home on our couches, the world is watching as this year’s best-of-seven showdown takes place between the Chicago Cubs® and the Cleveland Indians®.

Many fans are also shopping for the latest fan gear: both the Cubs and the Indians have seen a huge spike in merchandise sales since they clinched their spots in the big game.

Local stores and other Major League Baseball® (MLB) and World Series retailers are scrambling to restock their shelves and window displays.

And at the same time, criminals looking to make a quick buck are churning out unlicensed counterfeits.

Counterfeiters prey on the excitement and the community that surrounds the Series, swindling unsuspecting customers.

No one wants a big-game memento that’s really a big fake.

Counterfeit t-shirts will probably pill in the wash or the dye will run; ball caps will likely feel stiff and snug.

These are just a few of the reasons why World Series shoppers should limit their purchases to legitimate merchandise bearing the silver hologram logos found on all authentic fan gear.

 

Holograms from licensed

These silver holograms mark authentic licensed products.

 

Other reasons?

American businesses, like official MLB licensee New Era® Cap Company, have worked for years to earn the rights to brand their gear with the trusted hologram logo.

These retailers have diligently logged and tagged their inventory and cooperated with specialized MLB and local police enforcement teams that investigate suspect items and target known counterfeit peddlers.

These retailers also represent an economic boost to the tune of $6 trillion dollars.

Sales from counterfeit fan gear won’t benefit these American companies, the league, the teams, or the individual players whose names might even be misspelled on the backs of thin jerseys.

Instead of funding America’s favorite pastime, profits from counterfeit good sales could be funding anti-American organized crime and terrorist activity.

And if that’s not enough to deter counterfeit consumers,  perhaps the impact on American jobs will make its mark.

New numbers from the U.S. Department of Commerce show that there are more than 45 million American jobs tied to intellectual property, such as the protected trademarks of MLB teams.

According to a 2015 U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, in Illinois alone, intellectual property industries employ almost 3 million people. The same study linked intellectual property with about 2.7 million jobs in Ohio.

As David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the Global Intellectual Property Center at the US Chamber of Commerce, testified before Congress: “The fake jersey won’t last but the damage…will.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jared Parks is director of advocacy and external affairs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center. 

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As you’re shopping this #BlackFriday, if you come across a #counterfeit product, let the National IPR Center or the Consumer Product Safety Commission know. You can help keep other consumers safe. #ShopSmart https://t.co/FIx2y2aGxe https://t.co/FIx2y2aGxe

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