Alicante
05 December 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

EUIPO counts cost of counterfeiting and piracy


Counterfeiting and piracy cost up to £71 billion and 790,000 jobs every year across the EU, according to a study conducted the EU IP Office (EUIPO).

The study was carried out through the European Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights and covered the period between March 2015 and September 2016 to build a fuller picture of the economic cost of counterfeiting and piracy in the EU.

It found that more than £40 billion, or 7.4 percent, of all sales were lost in nine sectors, including clothing, toys, jewellery, cosmetics, accessories, handbags, recorded music, spirits and wine, and pharmaceuticals, due to counterfeiting and piracy.

A further £12.2 billion in government revenue was also lost, according to the study.

These numbers reflect nearly 500,000 jobs lost or not created across the nine sectors in the EU.

When considering the effect of counterfeiting and piracy across a broader group of sectors, an additional 290,000 jobs were lost elsewhere in the EU economy.

In the UK, more than £6.4 billion was lost annually due to counterfeiting, with over £4.6 billion in the nine sectors, amounting to 6.7 percent of their sales.

The UK was the fourth country most affected by job losses due to counterfeiting, with an estimated 80,500 jobs lost overall and 50,800 in the nine studied sectors.

António Campinos, executive director of EUIPO, said: “We hope that the results of our study series will help consumers make more informed choices.”

“This is all the more important at this time of the year, when consumers and citizens are doing their Christmas shopping and choosing gifts for their dear ones. Through our reporting and analysis, we can see the economic effects that counterfeiting and piracy have on sales and jobs.”

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