EU: Product piracy threatening small, medium sized companies

Tue, Jan 31, 2023
By editor


TRADE in counterfeit goods and pirated copies is increasingly causing problems for small and medium-sized businesses, with some unable to survive, according to a European Union watchdog.

Intellectual property rights violations reduce the survival chances of smaller and mid-sized businesses by 34 per cent.

This is according to a study published on Tuesday by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

It said that these companies often lack the capacity to take action against counterfeiters, and can be ruined by the loss of sales, reputational damage and the loss of competitive advantage, the study found.

Suppliers of electrical machinery and electronics, apparel and fashion goods, perfumery goods, cosmetics, toys and games were the most affected, it said.

Meanwhile, most of these counterfeit goods came mainly by mail from China and Hong Kong.

These counterfeit goods were often inferior and pose a risk to consumer health and safety, the EU agency warned.

However, some 15 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises that own intellectual property rights had suffered infringements at some point, according to the study, with the proportion rising to 20 per cent for more innovative companies.

A considerable number of cases go unreported, with 40 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises not monitoring the markets for product counterfeits, often as they lack the capacity to do so.

Out of the companies affected, 11 per cent fail to act as they fear that doing so would be too complex, lengthy and costly. (dpa/NAN)