€500 million lost every year throughout the EU due to fake sports equipment

Press Release

The sale of fake sports equipment, like footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, skis, gym equipment and skateboards, costs legitimate EU manufacturers €500 million every year.

A new study from the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU’s largest intellectual property agency, shows that the sales lost due to counterfeiting of sports equipment – not including sportswear – correspond to 6.5% of all sales in this sector across the EU-28.

The study also shows that approximately 2,800 jobs are lost in this sector throughout the EU, as manufacturers sell less than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting, and therefore employ fewer people.

Every year, an additional €360 million is lost across the EU due to the indirect effects of counterfeiting of sports equipment – as manufacturers buy fewer goods and services from suppliers, causing knock-on effects in other areas.

Today’s report, released by OHIM through the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights,  also shows that up to €150 million is lost annually in government revenue throughout the EU due to this type of counterfeiting. This includes tax, social contributions and VAT which are not paid by producers and distributors of fakes.

The President of OHIM, António Campinos, said:

Every day, millions of people across the EU play and enjoy sport. However, very few of them know about the economic damage caused by counterfeit sports equipment in their own Member States, and across the EU as a whole. With this series of reports, we are investigating the effects of counterfeits in terms of lost revenue and jobs, sector by sector, to provide a complete picture for policy makers and EU citizens.

Today’s report is the third in a series of studies undertaken by OHIM into the economic impact of counterfeiting in industrial sectors in the EU, in terms of job and revenue losses. In July, a report into the economic impact of fake clothes, shoes and accessories (including fake sportswear) was released, while in March, OHIM published the first study in this series, into the economic impact of fake cosmetics and personal care items. Each report centres on a sector known to be vulnerable to counterfeiting.

In the UK:  The manufacture of fake sports equipment, like footballs, golf balls and clubs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, gym equipment and skateboards, costs the sector €50 million every year.

In France: France produces 15% of the total EU sports goods production (€800 million) each year. The manufacture of fake sports equipment, like footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, skis, gym equipment and skateboards, costs the sector €82million every year.

In Germany: Germany is the second largest producer of sports goods in the EU, accounting for around 20% of total EU production (€1 billion each year). The manufacture of fake sports equipment, like footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, skis, gym equipment and skateboards, costs the sector €44 million every year.

In Italy: Italy is the primary producer of sports goods in the EU, accounting for more than 20% of total EU production (€1.2 billion) each year. The manufacture of fake sports equipment, like footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, skis, gym equipment and skateboards, costs the sector €53 million every year.

In Spain: The manufacture of fake sports equipment, like footballs, sports helmets, tennis rackets, skis, gym equipment and skateboards, costs the sector €76 million every year.

ABOUT OHIM:

OHIM is the EU´s largest intellectual property agency, registering Community trade marks and registered Community designs. In 2012, OHIM was given responsibility for the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, which works to support the protection and enforcement of IP rights.

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