The information in this article have been taken from a publication of the OHIM, now EUIPO, concerning the costs of the violation of intellectual property rights in the field of clothing, footwear and accessories such as ties, scarves, belts and umbrellas.
According to the statistics of the Customs of the European Union, the products of shoes and clothing are the most frequently subjected to be stopped at European borders. The investigation showed that the legitimate industry loses about 26,3 billion Euro in revenue per year due to the presence of counterfeit products in the European Union: the percentage is 9,7% of sales in the sector. Costs are primarily determined by calculating the loss of income caused by the presence on the market of counterfeit goods.
The effect of counterfeiting is also felt on the labor market, with a direct loss of about 363.000 jobs. If you calculate the loss of jobs also in related sectors, such as the suppliers, the loss in employment is instead estimated at 518.281 jobs. Then, it is necessary to add the consequences in terms of loss of tax revenues for the States, with a loss of about 8,1 billion Euro.
Additional effects should be calculated on economic sectors that are linked to that of clothing and footwear, because if sales in clothing and footwear decreased due to the counterfeiting, this sector buys fewer goods and services from its suppliers, causing a ripple effect resulting in lower sales and employments also in these sectors.
The investigations allowed us to be sure of the involvement of Chinese criminal organizations in the production and distribution of counterfeit clothing: the presence of Chinese counterfeiters has been located in different Italian territories (Lombardy, Tuscany, Marche, Campania) and in Spain in the city of Madrid and its periphery.
The study published by EUIPO, moreover, highlights how counterfeit goods are more and more published on social media. Images of counterfeit goods are often on sale on the web.