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Meeting with Minister for IP special adviser

12 August 2019

ACG meet government adviserTrade mark applications to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) grew in the UK from 87,800 to 100,000 during 2018-19. The growth was partly due to a rise in applications from European Union (EU) member states, who are likely to be ensuring their intellectual property (IP) is registered with the UK IPO in readiness for BREXIT.

Last week, Phil Lewis ACG Director General and John Noble Director of the British Brands Group met the special adviser for the (yet to be announced) Minister for IP.  The meeting was held primarily to discuss the key IP policy areas for brands and to explore challenges and potential areas for progress.

“In our view, IP policy needs a holistic approach and we need to ensure that all IP rights are given the same level of priority” Phil explained.

Phil and John raised concerns that supply chains currently used by counterfeiters need to be tackled, as a priority. Free trade zones are playing an increasing role in the distribution of fakes and there is little governance at many of them.

“China’s One Belt One Road strategy is another growing risk. Shipments being transported by the new China rail system just aren’t being checked as they cross the border into Europe” continued Phil.

“In addition, the potential loss of access to intelligence, including shared databases, arising from Brexit is one of the greatest areas of concern in the fight against fakes.”

The meeting concluded with agreement that ACG would provide summary papers, and an action plan.

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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