Counterfeit products are harmful, and SMEs are particularly prone to counterfeiting. In 2020, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) conducted research into counterfeit products which showed that up to one in four companies in Europe suffer financial damage as a result of counterfeiting.
Loss of turnover, damage to reputation and reduced competitiveness
Of the companies that are harmed, 33% suffer loss of turnover, 27% have their reputation damaged and 15% see a decline in competitiveness. Yet less than 9% of all SMEs in the EU hold intellectual property rights. IP rights make it possible to take action against counterfeiting, which is why it is important for companies to properly register their trademarks, designs and patents in good time.
Companies with IP rights have higher turnover
Holding IP rights is not only important in the fight against counterfeiting. EUIPO research shows that companies with IP rights stand stronger economically and can generate up to 70% more turnover than companies without those rights.
50% reduction with the IP voucher
We have good news for SMEs that have yet to establish their IP rights; they can take advantage of the ‘IP voucher’ in 2021. The IP voucher is a combined European Commission and EUIPO initiative designed to give businesses a supportive boost. The voucher enables them to recover up to a maximum of 50% of the basic fees of their trademark or design application. More information about how to apply can be found on our page 'IP voucher'.
For more information about the risks associated with counterfeit products, read the full EUIPO report: Risk and damages, posed by IPR infringement in Europe.