A national consumer survey conducted by the American Consumer Institute (ACI) finds that the vast majority of consumers support stronger intellectual property protections against trafficking of counterfeit goods.  The survey of 800 consumers found 82% of consumers agreed that counterfeit goods, such as knock-off products, pirated software and imitation pharmacy drugs hurt the economy, with only 12% disagreeing.  Consumers expressed support for increasing criminal penalties to protect against the sale of counterfeit goods, including:

  • 80% supporting legislation to increase criminal penalties for anyone who knowingly sells counterfeit goods, equipment and parts to the U.S. military (with 14% opposing);
  • 81% supporting legislation that would increase criminal penalties for anyone who knowingly sells counterfeit drugs and medicines to Americans online (with 13% opposing); and
  • 79% supporting legislation that would help block foreign-based Internet websites from trafficking counterfeit goods, content or services to Americans (with 14% opposing).

Overall, 82% of consumers agreed (including 58% that strongly agreed) that protecting copyrights, trademarks and patents of artists, authors, manufacturers and inventors encourages innovation and creativity, while only 10% disagreed (either somewhat or strongly) with that statement.

“Counterfeiting and piracy is a destructive force that threatens consumers, hurts our economy and costs American jobs,” said ACI president, Steve Pociask. “The survey’s results reveal the public’s understanding of these detrimental effects and provide support for policies to curb intellectual property theft.”  The survey was completed on the week ending November 20th and covered a national random sample of 800 consumers.


For a summary of the survey results — click here.

Survey details are available upon request.


The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research is a 501c3 educational and research institute.  For more information about ACI or the survey’s details, please visit the Institute’s website at www.theamericanconsumer.org.