Spain: IP infringement in spirits and wine
The European Observatory on infringement on Intellectual Property Rights has made a report in relation to the economic cost of infringements in spirits and wine in the European Union; this report aims to evaluate the consequences of counterfeiting in a concrete field, comparing the sales forecast and the actual sales.
In this case, the Observatory only refers to manufacturing companies; it does not include wholesale and retail trade.
As an introduction, and focusing primarily on Spain, it is, with €6 billion (annual average: 2008-2013), one of the main producers of wine in the European Union, together with France and Italy; there are 3,700 enterprises located in Spain employing 24,000 workers. Meanwhile, in the spirits sector, United Kingdom and France are the main producers.
Based on the EUIPO´s report, we could conclude that Spain is one of the most affected countries when talking about infringement in spirits and wine. These incidents have consequences, not only on sales, government revenue and other participants in the industry, but on employment as well.
If we focus on the figures, the lost sales due to counterfeiting in Spain are €263 million (annual average: 2008-2013), being €173 million related only to spirits and €90 million related to wines; comparing these figures with the rest of the countries, in relative sales, although the lost wine sales are at the EU average (2.3%), the loss in spirits (10.4%) is only surpassed by Lithuania, Greece and Cyprus.
As previously stated, this situation affects employment; actually, this report confirms that, in Spain, there is a loss in employment of 969 people, the highest in the EU. This amount only represents a part of the problem, if we include the employment loss together with the rest of the industries involved, the total amount turns into 5,064 people.
Finally, the government revenue loss due to counterfeiting in Spain can be translated into €90 million lost.
This information provides a global vision of a problematic situation and it is really valuable for each country to see its scope so they can evaluate it and take action against these infringements as well as trying to minimise them; also, it is highly recommended to make people know about IP rights, making them aware of the actual and the potential consequences of infringement, so as to not become a part of it.
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