Nobody knows exactly, but probably the first counterfeit dates back since the introduction of the coin in human society. Romans made a series of counterfeits, later on called "legal", by making coins of copper silvered. Roman soldiers fighting in enemy territories were paid with these coins. If they were to be taken prisoners, they did not want to lose gold or silver this way! (...) details... In countries where democracy and market economy are currently strengthening, countries that were led by dictatorial regimes or centralized economies, freedom has lead to a real explosion on the market of services and large consume goods. Taking into account that the legislation for the protection of intellectual property rights and trademarks in these countries appears and is strengthening with time, the state's control bodies do not always manage to fight efficiently against counterfeiting. Cosmetic products, medicines, textiles, food, cellular phones, music or software CDs, spare parts for motor vehicles, these represent a multitude of counterfeited products, thrown on the market, under renowned trademarks, for attractive prices. Who is losing from the sale of these counterfeited products? (...) details...

Interview with Mr. Thomas Ehmer

Director of Puma AG Germany
What is your opinion on the establishment of an anticounterfeiting association in Romania?

It is definitely an improvement. Until now we have a serious problem because the civil society did not know about counterfeits, and the Government did not have the possibility to address and solve this situation. In this context, the establishment of a Romanian anticounterfeiting association is absolutely fantastic, and it can cooperate with the European anticounterfeiting associations. It is important to happen so because counterfeiting affects jobs and leads to an increase in unemployment. The European Union is trying to make an estimate: how many jobs are lost each year because of counterfeiting? The figure has now reached 30.000. Therefore, if you can afford to lose 30.000 jobs, you, as a society, definitely have a problem. The matter should be approached, I should say, scientifically, because the loss of jobs leads also to money losses.
Do you think Romania is a preferred market for counterfeit products due to the low standards of living?

I would not say that. After USA, Western Europe and Japan, Romania can be an important economic market. The countries of the former communist block are an example: Czech Republic already has an international corporation, Poland is currently growing. In the last ten years Romania witnessed a strong economic development, and business was made in and with Romania during this period.
Which are your relationships with China?

We have an international development with China, as we focus out attention towards the Chinese factories, and we treat them as partners.

Can you tell us a few words about the second edition of the International Anticounterfeiting Conference, which took place in Constanta an d to which you were invited?

It is a positive aspect a consequence of the god cooperation we have with the Romanian Government. It proves Romania’s decision to fight counterfeiting, and the premises of this fight were debated during this conference.


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