Measuring Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights

Dennis Collopy, Vanessa Bastian, Tim Drye, Florian Koempel, David Lewis, Peter Jenner

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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The review is wide-ranging in scope and overall our findings evidence a lack of appreciation among those producing research for the high-level principles of measurement and assessment of scale. To date, the approaches adopted by industry seem more designed for internal consumption and are usually contingent on particular technologies and/or sector perspectives.
Typically, there is a lack of transparency in the methodologies and data used to form the basis of claims, making much of this an unreliable basis for policy formulation.
The research approaches we found are characterised by a number of features that can be summarised as a preference for reactive approaches that look to establish snapshots of an important issue at the time of investigation. Most studies are ad hoc in nature and on the whole we found a lack of sustained longitudinal approaches that would develop the appreciation of change. Typically the studies are designed to address specific hypotheses that might serve to support the position of the particular commissioning body.
To help bring some structure to this area, we propose a framework for the assessment of the volume of infringement in each different area. The underlying aim is to draw out a common approach wherever possible in each area, rather than being drawn initially to the differences in each field.
We advocate on-going survey tracking of the attitudes, perceptions and, where practical, behaviours of both perpetrators and claimants in IP infringement. Clearly, the nature of perpetrators, claimants and enforcement differs within each IPR but in our view the assessment for each IPR should include all of these elements.
It is important to clarify that the key element of the survey structure is the adoption of a survey sampling methodology and smaller volumes of representative participation. Once selection is given the appropriate priority, a traditional offline survey will have a part to play, but as the opportunity arises, new technological methodologies, particularly for the voluntary monitoring of online behaviour, can add additional detail to the overall assessment of the scale of activity.
This framework can be applied within each of the IP right sectors: copyright, trademarks,patents, and design rights. It may well be that the costs involved with this common approach could be mitigated by a syndicated approach to the survey elements. Indeed, a syndicated approach has a number of advantages in addition to cost. It could be designed to reduce any tendency either to hide inappropriate/illegal activity or alternatively exaggerate its volume to fit with the theme of the survey. It also has the scope to allow for monthly assessments of attitudes rather than being vulnerable to unmeasured seasonal impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyIntellectual Property Office (IPO)
Number of pages127
ISBN (Print)978-1-908908-79-7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


  • IP Right Infringement
  • Patent infringement
  • Copyright infringement
  • Design Right Infringement
  • Trademark Infringement
  • Counterfeiting and Piracy
  • Measuring Infringement
  • Survey methodology
  • Online Copyright Infringement


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