The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual
Property Rights carried out a series of studies about the
economic impact of counterfeiting in nine economic sectors.
It is estimated that over 7.4% of all sales are lost every
year in these sectors due to the presence of fake goods in the
European market. The average loss of annual sales in the EU is
estimated at 7.4% and at 7.9% regarding direct jobs.
In Spain the percentages of loss of sales increases
significantly over 15% in sectors as significant as cosmetics
and perfumes (around 17%), clothing and footwear and sporting
goods, being the second European country in total loss of sales
and jobs. Despite the fact that fake products come mainly from
out of the EU, domestic production seems to be on the rise.
The distribution of counterfeit products takes place mainly
in street markets, better known as "top manta" markets.
Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia are key places but also the
tourist towns of the Mediterranean coast are very active. City
halls are implementing measures in order to end the presence of
"manteros" (illegal street vendor in Spanish common language)
in the streets. Madrid city fines the illegal sale of
counterfeit products from €150 to €6000. In addition
to fines, Barcelona has implemented communication campaigns for
tourists with the intention of encouraging visitors to stop
buying fake products. Other cities such as Seville and Alicante
are implementing similar measures.
E-commerce has become another increasingly common tool for
selling fake products in Spain. Counterfeiters have taken
advantage of the increase of online sales in order to create
new digital platforms for illegal trading. The Spanish police
are active when fighting against online counterfeiting. They
have a specialised unit for fighting against IP crimes
(Sección de delitos contra la propiedad industrial e
intelectual) headquartered in Madrid. Any citizen can inform
them about a potential IP crime through an online contact
The Spanish Customs authorities carried out 2,504 actions
against counterfeiting in 2015. Almost 2.6 million products
were seized. More than 50% of these products were found in
ports and almost 75% originated in Asia.
In 2015 a total of 50,715 trade marks, 2,882 patents and
1,927 industrial designs were filed at the OEPM, the Spanish
trade mark and patent office. IP rights are considered positive
and necessary by entrepreneurs. However there is still work to
be done to promote IP awareness among citizens and visitors.
Spain is interesting for counterfeiters not only because of the
market that represents by itself but because of the 72 million
of tourists that visit our country every year. IP protection in
Spain has evolved positively in the past 10 years but there are
still things to do and there will be new challenges to
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