A new report from the U.S. International Trade Commission found that Chinese counterfeit items cost American companies more than $47 billion in 2009. While both governments have discussed greater protection of American intellectual property rights and enforcement in China, the figures from 2009 further demonstrate the importance of action.
According to the ITC, more than $36 billion of the lost revenue stemmed from the outright sale of counterfeit items. Meanwhile, $11 billion dealt with lost royalties and licensing fees that were not collected because of counterfeiting.
In the U.S. economy, losing any form of revenue could be devastating. Additionally, the ITC found that countless jobs are not created due to the money these companies lose to counterfeiters. The commission pegged the number of potential jobs lost at more than 2 million. Simply focusing on software and film piracy would benefit the U.S. economy the most, the report found.
Despite its frustration with counterfeiting in China, the U.S. patent and intellectual property climate has problems of its own. Recent reports from Washington found that disagreements over the allocation of patent processing fees has held up key legislation.