The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has released the findings of its research carried out since 2013 which determines the most vulnerable sectors to intellectual property (IP) right infringements, as well as the extent, scope and economic consequences of infringement in the European Union.
In its synthesis report for the year 2018, the EUIPO found that “the total contribution of IP Right-intensive industries to the EU economy accounts for approximately 42% of GDP and 28% of employment (plus another 10% in indirect employment effects in non-IPR intensive sectors). Those sectors also generate a trade surplus of approximately €96 billion with the rest of the world and pay their workers 46% higher salaries than other sectors.”
The following are the top 10 vulnerable sectors to IP infringements: (1) Batteries, (2) Smartphones, (3) Pesticides and agrochemicals, (4) Pharmaceuticals, (5) Spirits and wine, (6) Recorded music, (7) Jewelry and watches, (8) Handbags and luggage, (9) Toys and games, and (10) Sports Goods.
Counterfeit goods entering the EU majorly come from Asian countries such as China, Thailand, Singapore, India, United Arab Emirates, and Afghanistan. Incentives like high returns on investment and lenient criminal sentences are among the appealing factors that had lured people and groups to engage in counterfeiting activities.
The sophistication of technology and the rise of e-commerce make counterfeit trade easier and convenient. Also, the demand for counterfeit goods also rises as consumers are inclined and willing to engage in illicit consumption.
The said report is concluded with a recommendation to adopt measures to assist IP right owners to defend the integrity and value of their rights, including assistance with the monitoring of innovative assets through the use of a number of proprietary databases, as well as work with EUROPOL and other partners to address the supply of counterfeit goods.
In line with EUIPO goals, IPDEL also provides a one-stop global platform to effectively address IP infringements in the most effective, efficient and practical way. IPDEL offers investigation and monitoring of counterfeit trade, legal services, and legal financing to ensure the protection of IP rights.