Counterfeiting, Piracy Lose EU €83 Billion Every Year

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Counterfeiting, Piracy Lose EU €83 Billion Every Year

The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) revealed on Monday that €83 billion and 790,000 jobs are lost every year across the European Union due to counterfeiting and piracy.

The study, carried out through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, found that a staggering 7.4% of sales in nine sectors, such as clothes, toys, jewellery, music, and handbags, are from the purchase of fakes or pirated material.

The cost to governments alone is €14.3 billion per year. An extra €35 billion is lost due to the indirect effects of these activities, as manufacturers buy fewer goods and services from suppliers.

Half a million jobs are cut or are never created by legitimate manufacturers, and in some cases distributors of these products employ fewer people than they would have before counterfeiting and piracy were so prevalent. Another 290,000 jobs are lost from the knock-on effects of these activities.

The studies were completed between March 2015 and September 2016, in order to see the full economic picture of counterfeiting and piracy in the EU.


The series will continue throughout 2017, focussing on the effect of these activities in the smartphone and pesticide sectors, among others.

The executive director of the EUIPO, António Campinos, 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. The situation varies from member state to member state, but the overall picture from our study series is very clear — counterfeiting and piracy have a negative effect on the EU economy and on job creation."


The EUIPO is based in Alicante, Spain, and manages the European Union Trademark and the registered Community design. Both provide intellectual property protection across all EU member states.

© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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