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The consequences of counterfeiting in Europe: salaries, health and jobs

The damage affects the 13 sectors most vulnerable to infringement of intellectual property 13 June 2018

Today, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has revealed how much wealth Europe loses due to counterfeiting: every year 60 billion euros are lost in Europe. Of these, 8.6 billion are lost in Italy. The survey considers the 13 sectors most sensitive and vulnerable to infringement of intellectual property.

Economic damage caused by counterfeiting in 13 sectors in the EUSource: "Synthesis Report on IPR Infringement", EUIPO, june 2018.

In particular, it is the most innovative and productive companies that are damaged. In Italy the sectors most affected are clothing, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, cosmetics and leather goods. The damage resulting from the loss of earnings is reflected in particular on the number of jobs available: on a European level, at least 434,701 jobs are deemed to be lost, while in Italy they amount to 52,705.

Compared to the European average, Italy suffers more than other countries because of damage to intellectual property: EUIPO calculates an annual loss of 116 euros for every inhabitant of the European Union, while in Italy the loss amounts to 142 euros per capita.
The risks to health and safety are also extremely high, and the damage not only affects the economic loss but also the health of the inhabitants themselves: indeed, at the top of the classification of counterfeit products we find cosmetics and drugs.

We must underline that not all the world of counterfeiting is located in China: indeed, categories of products with labeling and packaging declaring non-European origin originate from some European countries, and a lot of fake leather goods and cosmetics come from Turkey.

Counterfeiting affects companies with a high level of innovation: these are companies that file most patents, which alone account for 42% of EU GDP.

Furthermore, these industries generate a trade surplus of about 96 billion euros with the rest of the world, paying their workers salaries that are 46% higher than the average.

To learn more about this new report by EUIPO you can download the following official resources:

IP CODE APPS

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