China, the undisputed homeland of counterfeiting (and Italian companies at risk of bankruptcy)

The appeal and consumer interest of Made in Italy continues to attract world leaders in counterfeiting. Most of these are Chinese companies that prefer to ‘steal’ other people’s products to gain an unfair advantage, even to the detriment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including Italians, rather than investing in innovation.

The products of the beautiful country are actually among the most imitated products in the world; 11% of global seizures of goods violating SMEs’ rights to Italian productions are the third country in the world to suffer such violations, and previously only the United States and Switzerland. The data is emerging study On “The risks of illicit trade in counterfeit goods for small and medium-sized businesses”, the result of cooperation between Euipo (European Intellectual Property Office) and OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).

The document also sheds light on the countries of origin of counterfeit products that infringe on the intellectual property rights of small businesses. In the study’s presentation note, “China has been confirmed as the largest source of counterfeit products and is responsible for 85% of seizures related to online sales and 51% of seizures related to offline sales worldwide.” Imitators are interested in all kinds of products produced by SMEs. “The most frequently targeted are electrical machinery and electronic equipment (30% of seizures), clothing (18%), perfumery and cosmetics (10%), and toys or games (10%)”. In addition, many of these counterfeit products are of poor quality and often pose a threat to consumer health and safety.

Besides the potential harm to consumers, counterfeit products have an undoubted negative impact on the turnover of illegally ‘copying’ companies. The report fully highlights that SMEs whose intellectual property rights have been violated are 34% less likely to survive after five years.

EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau said the data confirms that “innovative SMEs are more exposed to the risk of counterfeiting”. “These businesses, which are hoped to create the jobs and wealth of the future, are less likely to survive due to unfair and illegal competition from counterfeiters and other intellectual property infringers,” the director added. “Ensuring proper implementation and helping legitimate European operators fight this scourge is crucial,” Archambeau said.

Source: Today IT