Counterfeiting “used to be a luxury goods problem”, says Therese Randazzo, who is in charge of protecting intellectual property at America’s customs service. Now people are trying to traffic counterfeit items that have a “wider effect on the economy”, she says, such as pharmaceuticals and computer parts. A new study by America’s Department of Commerce shows that fakes have even infiltrated the army. The number of counterfeit parts in military electronics systems more than doubled between 2005 and 2008, potentially damaging high-tech weapons.
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