MADRID: One in every 10 Europeans has been duped into buying counterfeit products, mostly coming from Asia, a study by the EU’s intellectual property office (EUIPO) showed Tuesday. Many consumers struggle to differentiate between authentic products and fakes, said the study by EUIPO which is based in the Spanish coastal city of Alicante. Counterfeit products account for 6.8 percent of the European Union’s imports and are worth 121 billion euros ($147 billion) according to figures from EUIPO and the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Counterfeits are present in all sectors from clothing to electronics, toys and wine, with 9.0 percent of European “admitting they had been duped into making such a purchase,” the study found. But the percentage varies widely by country, with 12 percent in Spain, 9 percent in France, 19 percent in Bulgaria and 2 percent in Switzerland.