Drastic counterfeiting effects on EU textile and clothing – A call for actions
A new report of the OHMI Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market on the economic cost of IPR International Patent Right infringement in the clothing, footwear and accessory sector reveals that annually industry loses more than EUR 26 billion of revenue which leads to approximately 500.000 jobs lost
For many years now, the textile and clothing industry represented by EURATEX, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation, alerts the EU institutions and the national authorities about the disastrous consequences of counterfeiting and piracy for our industry and for the whole European economy. The report of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHMI) demonstrates that the costs of IPR infringement borne by the European economy in terms of job losses, loss of profit and even, in some cases, closures of SMEs are very high. The report proves that:
9.7% of sales lost by the sector due to counterfeiting
EUR 26.3 billion of revenue lost annually by the sector
EUR 17 billion of sales lost in related sectors
363 000 direct jobs lost
518 281 direct and indirect jobs lost
ERU 8.1 billion of government revenue lost (social contributions and taxes)
To overcome the challenges facing the textiles and clothing industry, EURATEX urges the EU to take concrete actions as regards the three essential aspects of the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. The first is to combat the phenomenon within the boundaries of the EU; secondly, appropriate steps need to be taken to ensure that imported counterfeit textiles and clothing are intercepted and perpetrators are brought to justice.
And the last, exporters of European products to third countries need assurances that their designs will enjoy all necessary protection on the markets of those countries as required by the WTO TRIPs agreement (Article 25.2). It makes a specific reference to the protection of textile designs and models: “Each Member shall ensure that requirements for securing protection for textile designs, in particular in regard to any cost, examination or publication, do not unreasonably impair the opportunity to seek and obtain such protection. Members shall be free to meet this obligation through industrial design law or through copyright law”.