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Japan Patent OfficeJPO Compiles FY 2015 Survey Report on Losses Caused by Counterfeiting

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has compiled the results of a survey on the conditions of Japanese enterprises that suffered actual losses caused by counterfeiting in FY 2014 into a report, titled FY 2015 Survey Report on Losses Caused by Counterfeiting.
The percentage of companies that suffered losses due to counterfeiting was 21.9%, which indicates that there has been no significant change. As for the percentage of such companies ranked by the country or region in which they suffered damages, the percentage for China ranked first, remaining the highest, at 64.1%, and the Republic of Korea was second, followed by six ASEAN economies and Taiwan.
Due to these circumstances, the percentage of these Japanese enterprises that took measures against losses due to counterfeiting was 51.6%, up by 9.7 percentage points from the previous year and when categorized by the scale of the companies, the percentage of large companies which had taken measures was 55.3%, up by 8.0 percentage points, and that of small and medium enterprises was 49.0%, up by 11.1 percentage points from the previous year.

1. Background

In recent years, the circulation of counterfeit and pirated products has been expanding globally, and the damage caused by such counterfeit has become diverse and complex.
Against such a background, the JPO is working in coordination with relevant ministries and agencies, foreign governments, and international organizations to expand anti-counterfeiting measures, such as supporting Japanese companies engaged in overseas business development, cooperating in domestic enforcement activities, and raising consumer awareness.
Through this survey, the JPO collects and analyzes information on the conditions of Japanese companies that have suffered actual losses due to counterfeiting both domestically and overseas. This survey has been conducted every fiscal year since FY 1996 for the purpose of supplying data useful for policymaking to combat counterfeit and pirated products, to aid companies in developing anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy measures and to raise consumer awareness regarding counterfeit.

2. Outline of the survey

In FY 2014, the percentage of companies that suffered losses due to counterfeiting was 21.9% (the number of companies suffering from losses due to counterfeiting out of the total number of valid responses).
A breakdown of damages by type of intellectual property right indicated the same tendencies as those in recent years. The largest category is trademarks (56.4%), followed by patents and utility models (34.0%), designs (30.0%) and copyrighted works (17.4%).
In addition, 62.3% of the companies suffering from infringement of their rights responded that they had incurred damage via Internet-related counterfeit, which is still at a high level.
Looking at the figures by country and region, 64.1% of the companies that reported losses from counterfeiting answered that they had suffered losses in China, which indicates that the number of companies suffering damages is still high, followed by 18.9% in the Republic of Korea, 18.8% in six ASEAN economies, and 18.0% in Taiwan, which indicates that Japanese companies continue to suffer seriously from counterfeiting in regions across Asia.

The percentage of such Japanese companies taking measures against counterfeiting was 51.6%, up by 9.7 percentage points from the previous year. The percentage of large companies was 55.3%, up by 8.0 percentage points, and that of such small and medium enterprises was 49.0%, up by 11.1 percentage points from the previous year.
In addition, regarding future countermeasures to be taken by such companies against counterfeiting, the survey shows that the majority of such companies will focus on measures targeting the six ASEAN economies as well as China and will continue to take enhanced measures.

As for examples of Japanese companies taking measures against counterfeiting, along with independent requests for administrative enforcement and border control by Japan Customs, companies have been voluntarily taking measures such as conducting investigations and detection in collaboration with other companies and employing creative ideas that can prevent counterfeiting when designing their products.

3. Future actions

The JPO has been supporting small and medium enterprises suffering damages from counterfeiting overseas by taking anti-counterfeiting measures through on-site surveys concerning the infringement of rights, the preparation of warning messages for malicious business operators engaging in counterfeiting, and the provision of subsidies for costs for administrative enforcement.
The findings of this survey will be reflected in the JPO’s policymaking. In addition, the JPO will advance measures that must be taken to fight against counterfeit and pirated products in order to mitigate losses to Japanese companies due to counterfeiting.

Outline of the survey

  1. Subjects of the survey
    The survey covered the top 8,069 companies and institutions that had filed the highest numbers of applications for patents, utility models, designs, and trademarks out of the total number of applications filed in Japan over the past five years (FY 2010-2014).
  2. Details and methodology
    The Survey on Losses Caused by Counterfeiting was sent to companies and institutions and their responses about the losses they suffered due to counterfeiting both domestically and overseas and the current status of their anti-counterfeiting activities covering FY 2014 (from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015) were collected and analyzed.
  3. Period for this survey
    September 14 to November 30, 2015
  4. Responses from companies
    A total of 4,105 companies responded, with 4,090 of the responses being regarded as valid. The valid response rate was 50.7% (4,090 companies out of 8,069 companies).

The results of the survey and examples of measures against counterfeit products taken by companies have been uploaded to the JPO’s website. Reports for previous years are also available on the JPO’s website:
http://www.jpo.go.jp/torikumi/mohouhin/mohouhin2/jittai/jittai.htmExternal Site Link (in Japanese)

Release date

March 10, 2016

Division in Charge

International Cooperation Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, JPO

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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