Foreword

Sweden is an advanced, knowledge-based economy that produces highly valued products and services that benefit significantly from intellectual property. Sweden has an open economy, actively participating in global value chains. While these are features of a modern, dynamic economy, they also make Sweden vulnerable to the global risks of counterfeiting and piracy.

Illicit trade in counterfeit goods is a vital threat to Swedish industry, government and society. To provide policy makers with solid empirical evidence for taking action against this risk, this OECD report measures the direct economic effects of counterfeiting on consumers, retail and manufacturing industries, and government. It assesses both the impact of imports of fake products to Sweden and the impact of the global trade in fake products on Swedish intellectual property rights holders.

The results are alarming. In 2016, world trade in counterfeit and pirated goods that infringe on Swedish brands reduced sales of legitimate Swedish right owners by at least USD 2 billion, or 2% of their annual sales, and lowered the tax revenue of Swedish government by about USD 900 million, or 0.2% of Swedish GDP. A vast majority of losses – including more than two-thirds of lost jobs, and three-quarters of foregone tax revenue – is due to trade in fake goods outside of Sweden that infringe on Swedish intellectual property (IP) rights. These results underscore the need for co-ordinated international action against IP crime in general and trade in counterfeits in particular.

This report is designed to deepen our understanding of the vital risk that counterfeiting poses for global economy, and should help support policy makers as they shape effective solutions to counter this threat.

 

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Peter Strömbäck,

Director General,

Swedish Patent and Trademark Office (PRV)

 

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Marcos Bonturi,

Director,

OECD Public Governance Directorate

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