The Counterfeit Goods Museum in Bangkok, Thailand is in a somewhat unconventional location for a museum: the working law office of Tilleke & Gibbins.
Guests are greeted by a guide when they step off the elevator and onto the 26th floor of the downtown skyscraper. It is then that it all begins to make sense. The guide, who is also an employee of the law office, explains that companies hire the firm to find and stop the counterfeiting of their products.
The museum is made up of original items donated by the firm’s clients, as well as the counterfeit goods that have been acquired during raids. Most of the counterfeit goods are used as evidence in intellectual property court cases before making their way into the museum. While the museum collection consists of roughly 3,500 confiscated items, there is only enough space to show 500 at a time.
The counterfeit items range from brand name clothing and accessories (Gucci, Ed Hardy, Adidas, etc.), to food products, toys (such as Dragon Ball Z figurines), cell phones, books, and even automobile parts. The museum alleges that 95% of knock-off goods are made in China, and that an illegal shipment was once seized at the Thai border containing 150,000 pairs of shoes!
Also on display are replica Casio calculators. For anyone going calculator shopping, keep an eye out for impostors – real Casio calculators do not have a CE button. Aside from sharing tips on spotting replica items, the guide also drives home the fact that counterfeit products can be dangerous. Automobile parts, food, or electronics with no safety testing or regulations can be disastrous.
Ironically, upon leaving the museum, one needs to walk no more then a few blocks before encountering counterfeit goods.
As it is in a working law office, the museum accepts guests by appointment only.