Counterfeiting leads to an estimated $100B loss annually in the IT industry [1]. In addition to lost revenue, there are significant reputational risks. Cisco currently enjoys being the world’s 15th most valuable brand – and Authenticity is a key strength [2]. In order to retain the value of the brand, it must constantly be protected.

I have the privilege of leading the Global Brand Protection group at Cisco, which includes an amazing squad of investigators and engineers who actively monitor the marketplace to identify sellers of counterfeit products and takes steps to curb this problem.

Our team partners closely with both law enforcement and customs officials around the world to stop counterfeit products at the border, identify counterfeit operations and pursue legal actions against infringers of Cisco’s intellectual property rights, including trademarks.

Most important to you, we also actively support our partners in protecting their investment in Cisco. Back in October 2019, Oliver Tuszik shared a blog focused on “What is Cisco doing to protect its partners and customers?” and also highlighted how we are helping partners defend against the risks of the unauthorized market and counterfeit products at Cisco Partner Summit 2019. That work continues, of course, outside of these big events.

These counterfeit modules look real however they do not meet the quality and industry standards of genuine Cisco products

In fact, in June of this year, Cisco Brand Protection made a criminal referral to the Police in Shenzhen, China, who raided a counterfeiting ring selling fake transceivers.

More than 500 counterfeit modules, 3,100 fake labels and 27,000 product leaflets were uncovered and seized during the action.

For clarity, a transceiver is a pluggable interface used in networking environments — it’s about the size of a USB stick.

Getting these counterfeit products out of circulation doesn’t just protect Cisco. It also protects your business as partners. Cisco always recommends customers buy Cisco products only from Authorized Cisco Partners  or directly from Cisco in order to minimize the risk of purchasing counterfeit products. That is the only way to guarantee the customer is getting the quality product we both work to provide to them.

We could use your help too. If you believe there is a suspicious activity that affects Cisco’s brand, send a tip — anonymously, if you prefer to brandprotection@cisco.com.


If you’d like more information, read about Beating Counterfeiters, or Fighting Crime and Protecting Cisco, or just check out our info on why BuyRight matters.



Al Palladin

Legal Director

Global Brand Protection