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Combating Fakes
Fake (or counterfeit) goods are a huge problem for many brand owners. Popular targets for counterfeiters include, for example ‘designer’ handbags, sunglasses, watches and clothing. Trade in counterfeit goods will often be an infringement of the brand owner’s intellectual property rights.
 
Using Intellectual Property Rights to Stop Fakes
As a brand owner, it is important to ensure that you have your intellectual property protected, for example by ensuring that any trade marks, logos and designs have been correctly registered in all relevant countries.
 
Trade Mark Infringement
Trade mark registrations in particular give brand owners exclusive legal rights. The unauthorised use of a trade mark or a logo on counterfeit goods will often be an infringement of these exclusive rights
 
How Can We Help?
By working with local Trading Standards officers and with the customs authorities, we can assist brand owners to combat counterfeit goods by helping public authorities to intercept and seize fakes before they reach the market. If matters cannot be resolved by the public authorities, infringement of a trade mark can be prevented by taking legal proceedings. A brand owner may wish to retain the services of a solicitor to bring a legal claim for a restraining order and compensation against a counterfeiter.
 
The Penalties For Trading in Counterfeits
It is the trader’s responsibility not to deal in counterfeits. Even if counterfeits are traded inadvertently (‘innocent infringement’), the trader may still be exposed to civil liability to a brand owner for trade mark infringement. Trading in counterfeits carries criminal as well as civil sanctions. If the trader is found to have counterfeit products on his premises, he may be investigated or raided by Trading Standards and face fines and even imprisonment. Any counterfeit goods discovered are likely to be seized and destroyed, without compensation.
 
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