Impact of intellectual property infringements

gerbIntellectual property (IP) infringements, including counterfeiting and piracy:

  • damage the economy of a country;
  • threaten the health and safety of consumers; and
  • attract organised crime.

Consequently, it is the responsibility of Governments and law enforcement agencies, whose primary role is to protect society, to prevent IP infringements.

The international police organisation, Interpol, states ”Trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy are serious intellectual property crimes that defraud consumers, threaten health and safety, cost society billions of dollars in lost government revenues, foreign investments or business profits and violate the rights of trademark, patent and copyright owners”.

A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that, the international counterfeit and pirate trade was worth up to USD$ 250 billion, which is larger than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Armenia (USD$10.5 billion) and 150 other countries.

The OECD Study highlights the scale of funding Governments and legitimate businesses are losing to the counterfeit and pirate trade. Funding which could be used to improve society (e.g. build schools and hospitals) and create jobs.

IP crimes impact upon virtually every product category. Today, counterfeiters are producing fake foods and beverages, agrochemicals, electronics and electrical supplies, auto parts, construction material and everyday household products along with luxury goods, unauthorized music and DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs).

AIPA