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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released a report earlier this year detailing the continual rise in counterfeiting, which has become a big business that can be detrimental to small businesses and consumers.


Counterfeiting reaches a diverse array of industries including, but not limited to, food, drinks, currency, apparel, pharmaceuticals, electronics, automobile parts, cigarettes, toys, toiletries, and building materials. Counterfeiters work by copying a design and sell a cheaper version of the product, or simply put another brand’s logo or name onto their goods.

Not only is nearly every area of industry adversely affected by counterfeiting, but the illegal trade is projected to cost legitimate companies worldwide $500-700 billion every year.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) predicts that by 2015, counterfeit goods will be valued over $1.7 trillion internationally, which is more than 2% of the world’s economic output now. These numbers indicate the exorbitant threat counterfeiting poses to the shelf life of a company, let alone a small business. Low turnover, stolen intellectual property, expensive lawsuits and increased prices are just a few examples of the impact knock-offs have on businesses.

Because small businesses typically lack the same pool of resources that larger companies have to battle counterfeiting, their success is open to more damage, especially in the long run. What small businesses can do is to invest in and utilize their intellectual property rights. A recent article in Forbes listed “not getting a patent, copyright or trademark” as one of the top ten legal mistakes small businesses make. However, small businesses that obtain the types intellectual property pertinent to their product take a significant step in protecting and expanding their profitability.

Small businesses can also maintain the security afforded by intellectual property rights by keeping an eye out for counterfeits and reporting infringements. For example, business owners can browse for knock-offs in online marketplaces and auctions, and report counterfeits directly to them or to law enforcement authorities. STOPfakes.gov is a federal website that provides a wide range of intellectual property tools and information. Intellectual property owners can record their marks and copyrights using an online tool by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in order to help the agency prevent infringements from crossing into U.S. borders. The help of a quality legal team can serve in protecting, and should the occasion arise, enforcing valuable patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

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Starting a new business can be a bit scary. Aside from worries of failure, there’s also the hassle of making sure all legal paperwork are properly filed. I reached out to Mr. Wang (Tommy) because of his excellent reviews and reputation and I am so glad I did. He was thorough and meticulous in answering all of my concerns and took time to find out special laws and policies regarding the kind of business I am starting. I could focus on the daily practical side of starting my new office without worry because I felt Tommy was reliable and took my case seriously. My business is opened and it’s all been a smooth start because of Tommy’s help. I have plans to start another business venture in the next few years and I already know I’ll be coming back to Wang IP Law.

The Shindig W.

I came to Tommy for help reviewing a licensing agreement I had secured with a well-known manufacturer. Tommy made sure I understood all the details in the contract and he negotiated with the company to improve my side of the deal. I mentioned to Tommy at my first consultation that we were looking to expand throughout the US and were investing a lot of money to make a big entrance into the market. I did not think I would have my store open so soon but Tommy also has connections with the local area and realtors to help me secure the location for my first store in the Los Angeles area. Tommy works a lot with the local businesses and he understands how to transition from the Asian market to US market. Within 8 months my store was open for business and fully operating. I must recommend Tommy to any business owners looking for help with contracts and improving their side of the deal. Tommy has the knowledge and experience to make sure there is a smooth process to open for business here, and make sure that your company is set up for success.


I think Tommy and his team by far considered the best people to work with in my 16 business years. Beside quick responses to all my inquiries, they also done things right and providing very professional solutions. I’m highly recommending Tommy and his firm to all business owners.

Calvin C.

I have been working on my Utility Patent for almost 4 years. I have hired and fired two very reputable IP firms because with all their expertise and reputation for being some of the top firms in IP Law, I felt a lack of connection and care in my product, time and financial investment. Then I found Tommy and his team. Tommy does not waste time. He and his team are professional and extremely thorough. After 4 years, I finally found a legal team that I felt spent the time to really understand the components of my utility patent. Tommy also very mindful of cost and how and where my money would be better spent. I really feel I am in great hands with Tommy and his team. They have been patient with my revisions. And most importantly, they made me feel that they fully understood the importance this patent is to me. It has been a great and comforting pleasure working with Tommy.


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