Current situation on Intellectual Property Rights infringement in the European Union in 2019 – Focusing on the Spanish market

The European Union Intellectual Property office (EUIPO), has recently issued a new report on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringement during 2019. The report contains an assessment about the economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy in key sectors considered particularly vulnerable to infringement. 

The EUIPO’s report focused on the following “IPR-intensive” sectors: cosmetics and personal care, clothing, footwear and accessories, sporting goods, toys and games, jewellery and watches, handbags and luggage, music recordings, spirits and wines, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and smart phones. According to the EUIPO’s estimates, the annual impact of counterfeiting and piracy in these sectors amounts to EUR 56 billion per year. On average, these losses represent around 7.4% of the total sales in these sectors.

As result of these losses, rights holders produce fewer legitimate products than they would do if the counterfeits did not exist. Consequently, labor recruitment is lower. The EUIPO estimates this translates into around 468,000 jobs lost in the EU.

In relation to Spain, the annual losses due to counterfeiting and piracy are calculated to be around EUR 6.7 billion, which is comparable to 10.6 % of the sales in the 12 sectors discussed above.

Overall, the total value of lost sales in Spain is equivalent to EUR 146 per year per Spanish citizen, according to the analysis conducted in the report.

In comparison with the study carried out in 2018, it is clear that lost sales fur to counterfeiting and piracy have been reduced in the EU in all the sectors identified, save for: clothing, accessories, footwear, cosmetics and personal care articles.