Government cash boost to tackle counterfeit goods

The UK government has injected £3mn into the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in a bid to fight against digital piracy and counterfeit goods.

Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe announced the government’s funding commitment to the national crime unit at the Anti-Counterfeiting Group Conference in London today. The unit has now been operating for one year and the new funding will cover the next two years, up to 2017.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “We’ve seen significant success in PIPCU’s first year of operation. This extra support will help the unit to build on this impressive record in the fight against intellectual property crime, which costs the UK at least £1.3 billion a year in lost profits and taxes.

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“With more money now being invested in ideas than factories or machinery in the UK, it is vital that we protect creators and consumers and the UK’s economic growth.

“Government and industry must work together to give long-term support to PIPCU, so that we can strengthen the UK’s response to the blight of piracy and counterfeiters.”

Since its launch in September 2013, PIPCU has investigated more than £29 million-worth of IP crime and has suspended 2,359 internet domain names. It has seized more than £1.29 million-worth of suspected fake goods and has diverted more than five million visits to copyright-infringing websites.

City of London Police commander Steve Head, who is the also the police national coordinator for economic crime, said: “The Government committing to fund the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit until 2017 is fantastic news for the City of London Police and the Creative Industries, and very bad news for those that seek to make capital through intellectual property crime.”

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