According to the "Report on EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: Results at the EU Border 2015", the number of goods that were detained at the EU's external borders for suspected infringement of an IP right grew by an estimated 15% in 2015 compared with 2014.
Customs authorities across the EU seized more than 40 million products with a domestic retail value of nearly €650 million compared with 35.5 million items in the previous year.
In particular, the report found that:
- The top five categories of detained articles were cigarettes (27%), other goods (10%), toys (9%), labels, tags and stickers (8%) and foodstuff (7%). Labels, tags and stickers is a new entry in the top five.
- China continues to be the main country of origin for goods suspected of infringing an IP right.
- In terms of specific products, Benin was the biggest originator for foodstuff; Mexico for alcoholic beverages; Turkey for clothing; and Hong Kong for mobile phones, memory cards, computer equipment, CD/DVDs and lighters. Montenegro was the top source for cigarettes and India for medicines.
- Products for daily use and products that would be potentially dangerous to the health and safety of consumers (e.g. food and drink, body care articles, medicines and electrical goods) accounted for 25.8% of the total number of goods detained.
The report also states that in 91% of detention procedures, the goods were either destroyed after the owner of the goods and the right-holder had agreed on destruction or the right-holder initiated a court case to establish the infringement. However, only 75% of the total number of detained articles were destroyed or subject to proceedings. The remaining 25% were released because the right-holder did not react to the notification by customs (11%) or they were eventually found to be original goods (14%).
Please click here to access the full report.