On a visit to the Coventry Postal Hub, which receives all incoming and outgoing international packets that weigh between 2.2 and 30 kilograms, the Minister saw first-hand how Border Force officers who are based on-site detect illicit goods such as drugs, firearms, prescription drugs and intellectual property items such as counterfeit consumer goods.
Baroness Wilcox said:
“With the popularity of on-line shopping, we have seen an increase in the quantity of counterfeit goods arriving in the UK. This illicit trade is bad for rights holders and the economy, and can cause harm to the consumer. I was therefore delighted to see, first-hand, industry and government taking practical steps together to tackle the problem.”
The Minister yesterday set out how the issue of counterfeit goods impacts the economy as she delivered a keynote speech to the Anti-Counterfeit Group's Conference ahead of the Olympics and Para Olympics. Olympic branded lighters are amongst some of the counterfeit items seized from ports, markets and shops throughout the UK – these are always fake as the Olympic brand is not associated with any product linked to smoking. Toys have been seized and as well as breaching the Olympic Trade Marks, they can pose a threat to children’s health. Other counterfeit items include clothing, sportswear and mobile phone accessories.
The Minister said:
“If it’s a fake, it's poor quality and consumer rights are compromised. Don't let criminals take advantage of the London 2012 Olympic Games, this unique event that promotes the UK at its best. The Intellectual Property Office will continue to work hard with LOCOG, law enforcement and industry towards making 2012 fake free Games and together, we will ensure that we reduce the negative impact that counterfeit goods have on our economy. “
Notes to editors
1. Photos of the Minister’s visit can be accessed here www.flickr.com/photos/bisgovuk/
2. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
3. Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.
4. It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP) to which the United Kingdom is a party.
5. For further information, please contact Veena Mapara on 0207 215 5614.
6. For emergency media calls out-of-hours please contact the duty press officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on +44 (0) 207 215 3505.
7. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.