Fall in UK IP crime rate

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IP crime remains a serious problem for many UK businesses

Businesses across the UK are benefiting from a reduction in intellectual property (IP) crime at present, new government figures have revealed.

The latest figures released by the Intellectual Property Office, in conjunction with the IP Crime Group, have shown the number of IP crimes reported to Crimestoppers over the last year has fallen.

Overall, the results show the volume of counterfeit goods and patents being reported has fallen by 71 per cent in the last year - a sign that enforcement agencies and industry are continuing to effectively tackle this blight on UK enterprises.

The IP Crime Report 2014/2015 revealed the top five products faced with issues of IP crime at present are tobacco, clothing, alcohol, footwear and DVDs.

In the last year, border enforcement agencies have seized 1.6 million IP-infringing items, while more than 11 million website views have been diverted to police warning pages in a bid to clamp down on IP fraudsters.

The issue of IP crime is one businesses operating across the UK will be well aware of, with the damage that can be caused by knock-off brands and inferior-quality products ranging from lost revenues, public health issues and loss of reputation.

Giles York, Association of Chief Police Officers IP crime lead & Sussex Police Chief Constable, stated: "Co-ordinated action is the key to tackling IP Crime. By working together the IP Crime Group continues to bring focus and determination into the fight against IP crime, and this report shows the welcome effect that is having.

"There are many challenges ahead, particularly in tackling the online sale of counterfeit goods, but we hope that next year will bring even more success in reducing this problem."

Companies are being urged to work closely with the authorities in cases where they feel they have been the subject of IP crime, with individuals found guilty of these offences now facing maximum sentences of up to ten years in prison should a conviction be secured.

Businesses of all sizes can suffer considerable losses should their goods be counterfeited, with smaller firms in particular open to the damaging effects of this type of fraud. It is therefore positive news that the government is taking this problem seriously and has acted to strengthen the nation's safeguards against such illegal activities.