December 23
Warning for Holiday Shoppers: New Report of the EU Observatory on Economic Costs of Fake Toys and Games

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On December 14, the Observatory released a new report on the economic cost of intellectual property right (IPR) infringement in the toys and games sector, in the framework of the current shopping season. This is the fourth such study aimed at quantifying the scale and impact of IPR infringements in sectors most vulnerable to counterfeiting. In March 2015, the Observatory published the first such study on the economic impact of counterfeiting in the cosmetics and personal care items sector; in July 2015 it proceeded with the clothes, shoes and accessories sector; and in September 2015 the study on the sports goods sector was released.  See here for the previous studies. 

The findings of the study on infringement in toys and games cover the direct and indirect costs to industry and the wider costs to government and society, in particular:

• €1.4 billion of revenue lost annually by the manufacturers in the EU. The biggest absolute impacts are found in Germany, as it is the leader on the games and toys market in the EU. Germany accompanied by the UK, Italy, France and Spain account for 60% of the total lost sales in the EU.

• 12.3% of sales lost.

• 6,150 direct jobs lost.

• 13,168 direct and indirect jobs lost.

• €370 million of total loss of government revenue (household income taxes and Social Security contributions, corporate income taxes and VAT).  

The report refers to the manufacture of products such as dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, board games, toy musical instruments, model trains and puzzles. The report does not cover the wholesale and retail trade. Video games consoles, software for video games and bicycles are not included in the study. 

The link to the full study is available here

What is Next on the Agenda?

The other sectors which will be covered by studies in the coming months are the following: medicines; tobacco; alcoholic beverages covering beer, wine and spirits; jewellery and watches; handbags and luggage and computers.  

In parallel, the Observatory has embarked on a joint study with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to estimate the value of counterfeit goods in international trade, and on studies of infringements in the music, film and e-book industries with the support of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. 


About the Observatory


The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (“the Observatory”) is a network composed of public and private sector representatives who collaborate in various working groups. Its activities include carrying out studies and reports to inform EU policymakers and other authorities who shape and enforce IP policies, providing learning programs for IP and enforcement authorities, businesses and IP practitioners. Following Regulation 386/2012, the Observatory was fully entrusted to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM, soon to be renamed the European Union Intellectual Property Office). Since the Observatory’s inception, INTA has participated as a stakeholder in the Observatory.

For more information about the Observatory and INTA’s participation in its activities, please contact Maysa Razavi, INTA Anticounterfeiting Advisor, at



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