07 | 06 | 2019

World Anti-Counterfeiting Day 6 June 2019

Photo: Customs of the RoC

Initiated by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Network (GACG), the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day has been celebrated every year in June since 1998, in order to raise public awareness of damage caused by counterfeiting, i.e. infringements of intellectual property rights.

On the occasion of the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day this year, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published the 2019 Status Report on Intellectual Property Rights Infringements – Why IP Rights Are Important, IPR Infringement and the Fight against Counterfeiting and Piracy.

This report brings together the findings of the research carried out in recent years by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) through the European Observatory on the Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights, on the extent, scope and economic consequence of intellectual property right infringement in the European Union.

In a study carried out in partnership with the European Patent Office (EPO), it was found that the total contribution of IPR-intensive industries to the EU economy accounts for approximately 42% of GDP and 28% of employment and generate a trade surplus. They pay the workers in these industries 46% higher salaries than other sectors.

According to the EUIPO’s data, the annual loss incurred as a direct consequence of counterfeiting and piracy in 11 economic sectors in the European Union accounts for €55,982 million, which makes 7.4% of the total sale in these sectors. Considering the fact that legitimate producers produce less than they would produce if there were no counterfeiting, so they employ less workers as well, this sectors suffer a direct loss of approximately 468,000 jobs. The data show that the annual loss in e.g. clothing, footwear and accessories sectors accounts for €28,419 million (or 9.7% of the total sale), and the losses in the sectors of cosmetics and personal care products account for €7,053 million per year (or 10.6% of the total sale).

Abundant value, lenient sentences and high returns on investment together make counterfeiting attractive for various criminal gangs to engage in counterfeiting activities, whose modus operandi is becoming increasingly complex as technology and distribution channels evolve (counterfeit goods are mostly promoted and sold via the internet).

To address this issue of counterfeiting and piracy, EUIPO in cooperation with public and private partners is undertaking a range of actions and measures to solve these problems, such as providing rights owners with information on the changing infringement landscape, working with Europol, supporting the European Commission in this area, helping Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises protect their intellectual property rights as efficiently as possible, providing citizens with information on the availability of legally accessible digital content etc.

The report and the executive summary are available here.

Infographics showing statistical data by sectors relevant in this field for the Republic of Croatia is available here.