The costs included in the survey were:
- cost of employee time dedicated to IPR enforcement;
- cost of external legal assistance;
- court fees in connection with infringement-related litigation;
- storage and destruction costs;
- other infringement-related costs.
The study showed a variation, depending on company size.
- In the case of small companies (i.e. those with fewer than 50 employees), the average outlay was EUR 83 653 per year.
- For medium-sized companies (those with 50-250 employees), the figure was EUR 103 166.
- For large companies, those with more than 250 employees, the enforcement costs amounted to EUR 159 132 per year.
It is apparent from these figures that the costs of dealing with IPR infringement are particularly burdensome for small firms, those with 50 or fewer employees. For a company with 25 employees, the total cost of more than EUR 83 000 reported by these companies corresponds to the cost of 2 employees, or nearly 10 % of the total payroll.
You can see the study here.
These estimates further corroborate the findings in the Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard 2016, which indicated that the cost of protection and enforcement of IP rights was a significant barrier to SMEs’ use of those rights.