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ACG's Manchester IP Roadshow: A Step Towards Combating Counterfeiting

06 June 2023

Counterfeiting is a growing concern globally, with the counterfeit market estimated to be worth over $464 billion. To highlight this problem, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) organised an Intellectual Property (IP) Roadshow at Old Trafford in Manchester. The roadshow was aimed at knowledge building and awareness raising for enforcers and businesses engaged in the fight against fakes.

The ACG IP Manchester Roadshow was a success, with over 100 attendees from across the UK. The roadshow featured several speakers who provided valuable insights into the world of counterfeiting.

Following an introduction from our Director General, Phil Lewis, Detective Superintendent Neil Blackwood from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) delivered a lively and engaging presentation, which gave the delegates a great insight into Operation Vulcan. The operation is an incredibly successful initiative by GMP and their partners (including the ACG) to crack down on counterfeiting crime in Strangeways and the surrounding area.

ACG’s Events Officer, Stephanie Dickson said, “The Manchester IP Roadshow was my first event as the new Events Officer here at ACG. We had a bustling room with plenty of our members and a healthy number of enforcement officers, which was super exciting. Amongst many other presentations, I thoroughly enjoyed Neil Blackwood speaking with such enthusiasm about Op Vulcan and all of the incredible work the Greater Manchester Police have done to make Manchester a safer place. A big thank you to Neil Blackwood, Andrew Torkington, and their team for opening up about their experiences.”

In the afternoon, Dennis Chalmers and Darren Hughen, from Rochdale Trading Standards, spoke about their experiences in tackling counterfeit goods. They highlighted the importance of businesses being proactive in protecting their IP rights and working with the authorities to combat counterfeiting.

Eleanor Pike, from Reckitt, shared her experience of dealing with counterfeit products. She stressed the need for businesses to take a multi-faceted approach to tackling counterfeiting, which includes education, enforcement, and collaboration.

Simon Gerwtiz from the UK Intellectual Property Office’s enforcement team talked about the challenges faced by both law enforcement and industry, in the UK and globally, with storage and destruction costs of counterfeit goods. He outlined the IPO’s next steps to assist with promoting a consistent approach, and stressed the importance of ensuring destruction is undertaken in an ethically and environmentally friendly manner.

DS Andrew Masterson provided insights into the criminal networks behind counterfeiting. He explained how the profits from counterfeiting are often used to fund other illegal activities such as drug trafficking and terrorism.

“The roadshow provided an excellent platform for law enforcement and industry stakeholders to share ideas and best practices” says the ACG’s Intelligence and Strategic Initiatives Manager, Matthew Knowles. “A highlight for me was facilitating a meeting between two Trading Standards teams to discuss investigation best practices. Our speakers covered a range of contemporary topics, such as the ‘Clear, Hold, Build’ strategy, the importance of Border Force detentions data, self-storage investigations, product safety, the IPO Counter Infringement Strategy, and how to identify counterfeit healthcare and cosmetic products. We had over 100 brand exhibitors and the feedback from law enforcement has been excellent.”

The ACG’s Director General Phil Lewis added, “The roadshow was part of our continuing work to raise awareness about the complex threats, faced by our prized businesses when fighting transnational counterfeiting crime on a daily basis. The dangers to jobs, the economy and consumers are growing year on year and the event speakers provided valuable insights into this dark trade; highlighting the importance of being watchful and proactive in protecting our vital business assets and society in general. It was a great opportunity to learn from experts in the field on how to safeguard ourselves.”

To find out about our next IP Roadshow go to our events page or contact events@a-cg.com 



About ACG

ACG represents more than 3,000 brands affected by this influx of fakes into the UK and delivers an international network of information, advice and contacts on all aspects of IP protection. Working with Government and law enforcement agencies since 1980, ACG is focused on providing an effective and sustained response to counterfeiting.

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Membership with the ACG is the best way to work with government and enforcement bodies to protect your brand. Our Roadshows and training days help you reach out to police, trading standards and border force officers and tell them about your genuine products.

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