Is it illegal to buy fake brands?

Counterfeit goods, also known as fake brands, present a complex issue in today’s consumer market. While some view it as a harmless way to save money, others see it as a serious crime that harms businesses and intellectual property rights. Buying fake brands can be considered illegal according to the International Trademark Association (INTA), as it supports the production and distribution of counterfeit goods.

In the landmark case Louis Vuitton v. H&F Enterprises, a man was arrested for selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags at a flea market, resulting in a $1.3 million judgment against him (Intellectual Property Watch). Michael R. Kraus, Partner at McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd., advises consumers to be aware that buying counterfeit goods not only harms brands but also exposes them to potential health risks due to poor quality (McAndrews Held & Malloy).

To avoid purchasing counterfeit goods, check for authenticity marks, buy from trusted sources, and research a brand’s website for information on identifying genuine products. Counterfeit goods are unauthorized copies of trademarks, intending to sell or distribute for profit (INTA). Be cautious, as supporting counterfeit goods not only harms businesses but also puts consumers at risk.


  1. What’s the difference between counterfeit and pirated goods?


    Counterfeit goods mimic authentic brands; pirated goods are unauthorized copies of copyrighted material, like movies or music.

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