Latest counterfeit figures released by the EUIPO

The latest figures of aspects concerning counterfeit goods seized at EU external borders have been released in a recent report by the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office).

The figures make for a sobering read and show that counterfeit is still very much a big problem for intellectual property rights holders, despite authority intervention and a decrease in particular methods of transporting such goods to within the EU over time.

The report highlights that 69% of all articles detained were suspected of infringing an EU or national mark (although 14% of those detained were eventually found to be original goods- this just goes to show how closely counterfeit goods resemble the real thing).

Once an item is detained, the holder of the intellectual property rights is contacted. Further action is often taken in court by the rights holder, to determine the infringement. The report seems to show that more and more money is being spent trying to tackle counterfeit, as the number of applications requesting customs to take action in cases where a suspicion exists that an intellectual property right has been infringed has almost tripled.

The top 3 categories where further action is taken mainly falls across sport shoes, bags, wallets and purses and clothing. These are typical goods which can be ordered online and shipped via post or courier and are reflective of trends in online shopping.

Counterfeit is a costly problem.  Not only in the domestic retail value (in 2015 the value of the detained articles was upwards of 640 million euros), but in terms of seeking further action.

Although it can be an expensive procedure,  there have been ways to reduce the cost at the border-often authorities will automatically destroy small consignments on the previous say so of the rights holder- saving the authorities from having to re-approach the proprietor each time. This means a significant reduction of the administrative burden for customs authorities and right-holders and more effective treatment of counterfeit goods.

If you suspect that your goods are being copied or counterfeited, please contact us to discuss your options.

The full report can be read here: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/2016_ipr_statistics.pdf

For more information, please contact:

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Stuart Nield

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