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Although counterfeiting is often perceived as a victimless crime, it has significant economic and reputational costs for brand owners. In 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized counterfeit goods worth $1.26 billion and shut down 697 websites involved in trafficking counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods are not merely knockoff designer purses purchased from a street-vendor, but also include pharmaceuticals, toys, cosmetics and automobile parts such as airbags and brake pads, many of which are sold online.

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