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On these dates of gifts and celebrations, we highlight the awareness campaign on counterfeiting launched by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office under the slogan “Responsible shopping… ensures a future”. You can find more information on the website https://stopfalsificaciones.oepm.es/en/index.html and in #EligeElOriginal.

Counterfeit products

The consumption of counterfeit products has increased in recent years and affects many sectors, especially clothing, medicines, cosmetics, leather goods, wines and spirits, and smartphones. But it also extends to other areas such as watches, jewelry, cleaning products, tobacco and toys, even to household appliances and car accessories.

They harm the economy

Buying fakes is the last link in a chain that damages economy, health, and the environment, but it is up to us, as consumers, to choose what we buy, whether it be online, in shops or at flea markets.

Economically, the market of counterfeits destroys jobs and reduces tax revenues and innovation. It encourages the underground economy and makes money for organized crime networks. Moreover, buying fake products, instead of helping the people who sell them, perpetuates their often dependent and exploitative situation. Buying fake products creates unfair competition for companies that do operate under legal conditions, damaging their image. And we are referring not only to large companies, but also to small and medium-sized Spanish companies (SMEs), which represent 99.8% of the business, generate 66.4% of employment and are responsible for half of the exports made in Spain[1].

They endanger health

As far as health is concerned, a counterfeit product lacks guarantees as to its functioning and composition, as is the case, for example, with medicines or toys that do not bear the EC (European Conformity) marking, and which incorporate plastics, chemicals and mechanisms that may put children health at risk.

They do not respect the environment

Furthermore, counterfeit products are manufactured without respecting environmental protection standards and working protocols that promote reduction, recycling, or reuse; they have a shorter shelf life and saturate the planet with more waste.

A fake product may appear to be of similar quality and aesthetics to the original, at a lower price, but its purchase, far from being a bargain, is a poisoned gift, due to the negative effects we explain.

The original products are a guarantee

Investing in original products, on the contrary, ensures a future. Original products allow the establishment of trusting relationships between companies and consumers and guarantee the latter all their rights of complaint, return, etc.

Intellectual Property protects your safety

As Intellectual Property professionals, we can help to safeguard that intangible assets such as trademarks, designs and patents are known and protected in the best possible way; and through this Newsletter we want to raise awareness and spread this campaign. “Responsible shopping… ensures a future “. This holiday season and throughout the year 2021, in addition to wishing you the best, we encourage you to buy responsibly and always check that the product is original.

You can view the video of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office campaign here

Author: María Ceballos

[1] Source (Madrid College of Economists): https://www.cemad.es/pymes-motor-economico-espana/

 

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