The EUIPO and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) have collaborated to develop a detailed report that seeks to quantify the potential damage to the modern economy caused by the ever-increasing global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.
The full report, available here, analyses goods across a wide number of sectors, ranging from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals, and shares valuable insights into the scale and trends of counterfeit activity. An executive summary of the key findings of the report is available here.
Of particular interest are the accompanying infographics which present some of the shocking statistics in a simple and accessible manner. These highlight key facts such as the top categories of counterfeit goods seized (namely, footwear, clothing, leather goods, electrical equipment, watches, sunglasses, perfumery, cosmetics and toys) and how counterfeit goods are most commonly transported. Another infographic lists the largest producing economies of counterfeit goods, and highlights that counterfeit jewellery seems to be the hardest to spot.
Despite the obvious difficulties in gathering accurate data on these statistics, it is evident that the international trade in counterfeit goods continues to rise, leading to increasing economic and social losses on a global scale. Aside from the obvious challenges that it presents to governments, IP-based business models and consumers, the trade in counterfeit goods places an ever-growing burden upon customs’ operations in terms of detection, seizure and destruction. We congratulate the efforts of the EUIPO and OECD in producing this report. Any steps such as this which increase awareness, prevent consumers from being deceived into buying counterfeit goods, and assist right holders in understanding the scale of the problems that they face can only be welcomed.