The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) presented a new study on the economic damage resulting from violation of intellectual property rights in the area of sports equipment, the results of which, apparently, have surprised no one.
The results of the study have shown that the entities manufacturing sports equipment (excluding sportswear) in the European Union are suffering losses as high as EUR 500 million every year due to counterfeiting of their merchandise, while the entities related to this market (suppliers of parts or components) suffer the losses of approximately EUR 360 million, as less and less of their products or services are purchased by the manufacturers of the original merchandise. In addition, approximately 2 800 jobs have been lost throughout the European Union due to counterfeiting of sports equipment.
It is true that the placement on the market of such counterfeit goods is detrimental not only to the owners of intellectual property rights, their employees, but to the EU Member States as well. It has been estimated that they face losses of approximately EUR 150 million each year, as the manufacturers of counterfeit goods do not pay VAT and other taxes as well as social security contributions.
In combating counterfeit goods, it is first of all necessary to take care of the registration of one’s trade marks and designs, cooperate with the customs institutions and, of course, keep monitoring the market and not to „cast aside“ the perceived violations, as well as, being a consumer, not to support such activity, i. e. refrain from buying the goods.