A lot of counterfeit machinery originates in Germany

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According to a new survey of the VDMA (Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering Manufacturers), Germany is the second most frequent source of counterfeit machinery. The People's Republic of China was confirmed in its dubious distinction as world leader.

As in previous years, Germany takes second place when it comes to the production of illegal imitations of machinery and manufacturing systems, as shown by a current VDMA survey of its more than 3,100 member companies regarding product piracy. Some 24% of the questioned (plant) machinery manufacturers, almost one in four, has already struggled with German counterfeits.

“So far we thought that German companies illegally copied technical manuals or pictures,” said Steffen Zimmermann, responsible for the protection of products and proprietary knowledge at VDMA. According to the survey, however, many German machine engineers also produce illegal copies of their competitors‘ products.

The number of counterfeits of Chinese origin reached a shocking record level in comparison to the last survey in 2014 (we reported): Some 83% of the questioned businesses reported that they had encountered imitations of their products from the People’s Republic, an increase of 11%.

Altogether, 70% of the questioned German mechanical engineering firms were affected by product or brand piracy. The difficult international market conditions were particularly problematic for many. Numerous VDMA members criticize, for example, that dealers are able to continue selling their counterfeit products with minimal modifications despite legal judgements. The annual damage caused to German business by piracy has reportedly fallen from 7.9 to 7.3 billion euro, but the problem has not become less significant as a result.

In order to protect German mechanical and plant engineers from piracy damages, the VDMA now offers businesses information about various anti-piracy measures with a guide on „Product and Proprietary Knowledge Protection.“

Sources: VDMA, Stuttgarter Nachrichten

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