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About IP Crime
Industry world–wide loses billions each year to counterfeiting (fake products using well–known trade marks/brands) and piracy (such as illegal copying of DVDs, and downloads of online music and films).
These are criminal offences, together known as IP crime — a serious organised crime which, like any criminality, also involves other kinds of loss on which it is difficult to place an exact value.
The authorities do not keep statistics, but from the individual cases which arise each year it is known that the criminal gangs involved make huge profits. These fund other kinds of major crime, depriving the Exchequer of millions of pounds each year in tax and import duties, which could be invested in new schools and hospitals.
Even more disturbing, with certain kinds of counterfeit goods there are health and safety issues, so that consumers risk paying a very high price for the ‘bargains’ they think they are getting. Not only is the quality of the product inferior, but the risks of buying fake medicines, electrical goods, toys, cosmetics, food and drink are obvious.
Because 'IP crime' is classified as a serious organised crime in the UK, it is on the priority list of major threats to the safety of the UK and its citizens — and fakes are increasingly traded over the internet.
ACG is concerned with the implications of this crime for trade mark owners and their customers. We lobby on behalf of our members, to explain to government and law enforcement that fighting IP crime matters because:
- it causes economic, social and physical harm to individuals and local communities, nationally and globally
- it's regarded as a low–risk 'soft' crime, but is part of a much bigger picture
- the huge profits from IP crime are used to fund other serious organised crimes such as people smuggling, drugs, guns, child pornography and even terrorism
UK Intellectual Property Office videos: IP BASICS - IP made easy
More information can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office website