Economic implications

Product piracy or product counterfeiting means the copying or forgery of products, i.e. the systematic infringement of trademark rights, patent rights, copyrights and other industrial property rights and the illegal use thereof. In recent years, there has been a huge surge in these crimes at a global scale. In many countries, entire industry branches are concerned only with making cheap copies.

Product piracy has a negative impact on many different areas of the economy, such as the labour market, free and fair competition, and the economic success of companies – to name but a few. In addition to the economic aspects of product piracy, there are further negative consequences for many areas of industry and society since in some circumstance, counterfeit products represent a high safety risk because the quality of the counterfeit products does not come up to the quality of the originals, and, in the worst case scenario, represents a potential hazard. Examples of particularly critical areas include the pharmaceutical sector and the automotive components industry.

The European Commission has launched a Campaign against counterfeiting of industrial products