26 April 2019
Since 2000, April 26th has been designated as World Intellectual Property (IP) Day by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
World IP day was originally established to celebrate creativity, and the continual contribution being made by creators and innovators. The annual event also aims to raise greater awareness of how trademarks, designs, copyright and patents have such an important bearing on society, business and consumers.
To help celebrate, this year, WIPO is focusing on the world of sport and is exploring how innovation, creativity and IP rights encourage, protect and support the development of sport across the globe.
Like the athletes that participate, sports businesses are constantly working to deliver world-class equipment, clothing and performances and in the past 8 years it is estimated that the sports business in the UK alone has become a £20bn-a-year industry contributing over 450,000 jobs. It is no surprise then that counterfeiters have become so interested in freeloading on the industry and are raking off ill-gotten gains to support their wider criminal interests.
For the EU as a whole, the European IP Office (EUIPO) has calculated that in total the impact of counterfeiting amounts to €500 million. This is a direct estimate of annual lost sales by legitimate businesses, across the EU. The result being a total loss of 5,700 jobs.
Moreover, these losses also impact directly on government revenue, with lost taxes from counterfeiting being valued at €492 million, which could be used for essential public services across the EU.
Alongside these financial losses, fake sports goods and equipment put people at serious and increasing risk. Legitimate sports goods manufacturers place huge effort and resources into the design of products that are robust and safe. These are often manufactured under extreme scientific conditions. In contrast, counterfeiters have little interest in safety and are solely interested in producing high volume, substandard goods which can be sold at the best price possible.
ACG is committed to fighting the fakers. We represent over 3,100 international brands, in more than 30 countries, who work assiduously to combat this sinister and growing crime wave.
Safeguarding our consumers and our crucially important IP reliant businesses are primary ACG aims and to do this we coordinate and mobilise our members resources, logistics and intelligence to feed UK, European and international law enforcement agencies. Our members are determined to help ensure the joint safety and security of business and consumers and we will continue to do our utmost to preserve relations and build even more effective levels of communication and collaboration.
ACG believes that no single agency can combat this menacing and growing trade alone. Public and private sector bodies must collaborate to share the widest range of information and intelligence available. We must also ensure that enforcers have the right information and skills to make more effective policy and operational decisions, to better target our crucial enforcement resources.
We all face the same dangers in terms of serious and organised crime and ACG members will continue to do their bit to preserve relations and build levels of co-ordination, so that business and consumers across the world will be protected.
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.
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.