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Intellectual property

What is intellectual property?

Having the right type of intellectual property (IP) protection helps you to stop people stealing or copying the names of your products or brands, your inventions, the design/look of your products or things you write, make or produce.

What is 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. IP crime and infringement guidance

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

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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Join now!

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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