Over the last five years, the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (Observatory), has carried out research into the consequences of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringement in the EU and published the results in June (Full report available here).
Thanks to this study, the EUIPO has been able to determine that the contribution of IPR-intensive industries to the EU economy accounts for approximately 42% of GDP and 28% of employment. However, as there is a high value associated with IPR, the infringement of those rights generates significant costs, not only to the rights owners but also to the global economy. According to EUIPO, theses losses amounted to 60 billion per year across the EU in 13 key economic sectors.
In Luxembourg, 90 million EUR are lost each year due to infringement of IPR, which represents more than 7% of losses in Europe. It also constitutes a loss of 159 EUR per inhabitant per year and more than 375 jobs lost per year.
It is interesting to note that, whereas IPR infringements in Luxembourg represent a small percentage of losses in Europe, the revenue lost by inhabitants is above the average loss of 116 EUR per EU citizen per year. Finally, the top 2 sectors affected by lost sales, both in Europe and in Luxembourg, are leather goods and cosmetics.
To fight IPR infringements, private companies have to invest resources, time and money. Another study carried out by the EUIPO in March 2017 on the private costs of enforcement of IPR revealed that the average company spends more than 100,000 EUR per year on enforcement activities. Of course, there is a wide variation depending on company size with average outlay between 80,000 EUR for companies with fewer than 50 employees and 150.000 EUR for those with more than 250 employees.