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Avoiding Counterfeit Goods in 2018

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With over two million suspected counterfeit goods prevented from entering the UK, Greenaway Scott is reminding shoppers about the dangers of grabbing a bargain in 2018.

Lorna Bolton, an associate in the Commercial team at the leading business advisory firm, is calling on consumers to be more aware when they shop online, as an increasing number of potentially dangerous items are filtered into the UK marketplace.

This comes as the annual Intellectual Property Crime Report 2016/17 states that over two million suspected counterfeit goods were detained on the UK external border. These fake goods were prevented from enter the UK trading market and therefore protecting the public.

Ms Bolton warned that while purchasing fake goods at a reduced priced may seem like a bargain, counterfeit products could ultimately pose a danger to the user.

There have been reports of allergic reactions to fake cosmetics and electronic goods exploding. Not only are the counterfeit goods a danger, they are also infringing intellectual property rights.

The criminals manufacturing and selling the fake goods are using the intellectual property of legitimate businesses. The fraudsters are making large profits due to the cheap manufacturing of the goods. They do not have to comply with trading standards or safety standards as they are being produced illegally.

Protecting your intellectual property allows you to have the grounds to claim if you were ever the victim of someone infringing your intellectual property rights. When intellectual property rights are infringed it can have a detrimental effect on your business. Intellectual property rights include trademarks, patents and copyright.

Intellectual property rights are an integral part of a business’s core, as it is protects what the business is about, for example, the name of the business. If the name is trademarked then it prevents others from using it. If a fraudster was using your trademarked name then you would be entitled to bring a claim against them. A fraudster is less likely to copy a brand/name if it is protected.

If you would like advice on protecting your intellectual property in any commercial contracts please contact the Commercial and IP team by emailing [email protected].