Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods: Mapping the economic impact

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have carried out a study on global trade in counterfeit and pirated products, analysing the impact on the economy, and the share of international trade affected by the phenomenonIn particular, the main goal of this study is to assess quantitatively the value, scope and trends of trade in counterfeit and pirated tangible products.

This study focuses primarily on infringement of copyrights, trademarks, design rights, and patents But do not cover intangible infringements, such as on-line piracy, nor infringements of other intellectual property rights. It follows completes and develops a previous study from OECD on The Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Piracy, published in 2008.



Intellectual property generates value for firms and economies, and sound IP protection and enforcement helps drive innovation and economic growth. Governments across the world need reliable, evidence-based data to allow them to assess the danger that counterfeiting and piracy pose at national, EU and international level. This report will help them in that task.

António Campinos, Executive Director of the EUIPO


Effects and magnitude of the phenomenon

Counterfeit and pirated products come from many economies, with China appearing as the single largest producing market. These illegal products are frequently found in a range of industries, from luxury items (e.g. fashion apparel or deluxe watches), via intermediary products (such as machines, spare parts or chemicals) to consumer goods that have an impact on personal health and safety (such as pharmaceuticals, food and drink, medical equipment, or toys).


 

Take a look at this video. Many products are affected by counterfeiting and piracy, from luxury and business-to-business goods to common consumer products.

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Main findings

  • In 2013, international trade in counterfeit and pirated products represents up to 2.5% of world trade, up to € 338 billion, based on the latest available data from 2013.
  • In the EU, these products amount up to 5% of all EU imports, worth up to €85 billion.
  • Counterfeit and pirated goods can originate from all economies, with emerging economies playing an important part in this phenomenon, either as producers of counterfeits or as transit zones.
  • Brands suffering the most from counterfeiting are primarily registered in OECD and EU member countries, .
  • China appears as the single largest producing economy.
  • Increasing use of small shipments by counterfeiters due to the rise of e-commerce and also to reduce the risk and financial consequences of detection .


Resources
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