Only a fraction of counterfeit goods can be detected and confiscated by the government –$1.26 billion worth of counterfeit goods originating overseas were seized but U.S. officials in 2012, but the U.S. economy still loses $250 billion a year as a result of counterfeiting, according to NBC News.
The top five countries where counterfeits originate are China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Taiwan.
The most counterfeited products in America are:
1. Handbags/Wallets: With a net value of $511.2 million and a percentage of total seizure value of 40 percent, the value of these seizures is up 142.2 percent from 2011. Approximately $446 million worth of these seizures originated in China.
2. Watches/Jewelry: Roughly $187 million worth of watches and jewelry was seized last year. Ninety-eight percent of counterfeit items from Singapore were watches and jewelry.
3. Wearing Apparel/Accessories: $133 million worth of counterfeit clothing and accessories were seized in 2012, comprising around 29 percent of all seizures. Knock-off jerseys were especially popular.
4. Consumer Electronics/Parts: The seizure of knock-off smartphones and tablets has risen exponentially in the last few years, and in 2012, $104.4 million worth of parts and electronics were seized.
5. Footwear: $103.4 million worth was seized, accounting for eight percent of the total seizure value.