Nike and Apple named as most counterfeited brands in the world last year

Joe Hall
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Over 1000 counterfeited Nike items were seized last year (Source: Getty)

Nike and Apple were the two most counterfeited brands in the world last year, according to the latest illicit trade report from the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

Nike was the most counterfeited brand, with 1,120 cases of fraudulent Nike products being seized last year, a 48.3 per cent increase on 2012's total of 580 cases. Apple was second with 867 cases, a slight increase on 826 last year.

It may be an unwelcome compliment, but in the eyes of counterfeiters at least, Nike remains the must-have sportswear brand as Adidas was behind Rolex and Samsung as the fifth most counterfeited brand when it came to number of cases.

In terms of number of cases, Apple was the second most counterfeited brand for the second year in a row. In 2012 there were 826 cases of fake Apple products seized across the world, however that total was dwarfed by the disconcerting 1,604 cases of counterfeited Cialis, the erectile dysfunction drug.

In fact, that particular type of pharmaceutical proves to be particularly popular among fraudsters in the world, with Viagra also finding its way into the top 10 over the last two years.

The most counterfeited brand in terms of number of actual products detained was Kenyan cigarette brand Supermatch, due to a a huge seizure of the product in Togo as part of operation Biyela. Another large-scale operation was aimed at targeting and intercepting illicit medicine.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of brands on the top 10 list for quantity of individual products were fake medicine products.

Overall, over 500 million illicit pharmaceuticals were seized by officials last year. Clothing products were actually relatively low down the list, with just 184,244 cases.

Although Nike would undoubtedly not want the ignominy of being named as the most counterfeited brand in the world, it didn't stop the sportswear giant reporting multi-billion dollar revenue in the same year.

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