Fake goods under the Christmas tree

07 December 2016

According to EUIPO report, 83 billion € and 790 000 jobs are being lost every year across the EU due to counterfeiting and piracy, the victims being not only entrepreneurs, but also consumers. It is painfully surprising when you get a Christmas gift which, in reality, is only a non-durable and poor-quality fake. “We can and we must act before the counterfeit goods reach the market” – says Tomasz Grucelski, a lawyer and patent attorney who deals with prosecution of counterfeits at the border in his everyday work at JWP law firm.

With the festive season approaching, millions of shoppers across the EU-28 are buying Christmas presents for family and friends. But the negative economic effect of counterfeit and pirated goods lasts all year round.

7.4 % of sales in nine sectors are lost due to the presence of fakes in the market. Clothes, toys, sports goods, jewellery, handbags and music among the sectors affected. In total, the yearly loss of government revenue arising from counterfeiting and piracy in these nine sectors is estimated at 14.3 billion €, in terms of lost income tax, VAT and excise duties.

“Manufacturers and distributors may, however, limit the influx of counterfeit goods with procedure of protection at the border in an inexpensive and effective way” – continues Tomasz Grucelski. After applying for protection at the border, the relevant information is entered into a database, which enables the identification of counterfeit goods, their detention and destruction by customs officers. An application for protection at the border is not subjected to official charges, and with a single application, you can get protection in Poland or any other European Union country. In your application you can indicate not only trademarks, but also industrial designs or copyrights that you want to be protected.

A series of studies carried out by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, estimates that over 48 billion € — or 7.4 % of all sales — is lost every year in nine sectors, due to the presence of fake goods in the marketplace. Every year, an additional 35 billion € is also lost across the EU economy due to the indirect effects of counterfeiting and piracy in these sectors, as manufacturers buy fewer goods and services from suppliers, causing knock-on effects in other areas.

Those lost sales translate into close to 500,000 jobs directly lost or not created across these sectors in the EU, as legitimate manufacturers and in some case distributors of corresponding products employ fewer people than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting and piracy.

When the knock-on effect of counterfeits on other sectors is taken into account, an additional 290,000 jobs are lost elsewhere in the EU economy.

In Poland it is estimated that 1.2 billion € is directly lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, in the sectors identified, amounting to 6.2% of the sales of these sectors. This translates into over 29,300 jobs directly lost in these sectors.

Relative lost sales and jobs due to counterfeiting in selected sectors are below the EU average in Poland. Only two sectors present relative lost sales above the EU average: clothing, footwear and medicines. In the hand bag sector, Poland ranks 3rd in job losses in absolute terms.

The studies were carried out between March 2015 and September 2016 by the EUIPO, to build up a fuller picture of the economic cost of counterfeiting and piracy in the EU.

(source: www.euipo.europa.eu)


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