EUIPO mulls counterfeit impact on clothing, cosmetics, toys

Counterfeiting cost the legitimate clothing, cosmetics and toy industries in the EU a whopping €16bn in lost sales, according to a new report from the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The organisation’s latest Observatory publication updates its figures on the three sectors, with clothing accounting for almost €12bn of the total while the other two made up roughly €3bn and €1bn, respectively.

The proportion of legitimate clothing sales was around 5.2 per cent of the legitimate market, which the EUIPO estimates resulted in 160,000 fewer jobs in the sector. Meanwhile, for cosmetics the proportion was 4.8 per cent, costing 32,000 jobs, and for the toy industry it was 8.7 per cent and 3,600 jobs.

Among the interpretations published in the report is that there is a clear positive association between the willingness of consumers in a country to purchase a fake, as well as the perception of increasing corruption in society – as identified in the EUIPO’s IP Perception survey – and the loss of sales to counterfeiting.

The greater the border detentions by a member state – at least in the clothing and toys – the lower the sales lost due to counterfeiting, says the report. Also, the higher the declared offences for unlawful drugs or corruption crimes, the higher the impact of counterfeiting across all three sectors.

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