Cracking down on Super Bowl counterfeits

The Vince Lombardi Trophy and helmets displayed at a Press Conference at the Super Bowl XLVI Media Center on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Ind. Federal authorities recently cracked down on counterfeit NFL merchandise sold at the Super Bowl.

So if you've ever gone to a big sporting event or concert, you know there are always folks outside the arena selling cheap shirts and other merchandise with your favorite team or band logo on it. But, its often not as high quality - and rarely legal or approved.

Well, yesterday, authorities from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement showed that they are yet again cracking down on this kind of illegal activity, seizing around $5 million worth of counterfeit NFL merchandise.

In today's Mid-day Extra, we look at "Operation Fake Sweep".

Here to talk with us is Jorge Espinosa, an intellectual property lawyer in Miami with experience in anti-counterfeiting.

He says that choosing the Super Bowl as a time to announce this plan is a great way for authorities, and the NFL, to get the kind of coverage it needs for this issue -- and just might scare couterfeiters away for the time being.

The sweep included not only physical items like jerseys and hats, but also the shutdown of a number of websites that illegally stream the games -- which, it turns out, even Tom Brady has been know to use.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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