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Counterfeit Manufacturing: Internet

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 24th June 2016.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Labour, Swansea East

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of counterfeit electrical goods being sold online in order better to protect consumers; and whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to help reduce that number.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport)

The Government takes the issue of IP infringement seriously, including in relation to counterfeit electrical goods, and is working with industry and law enforcement agencies on a number of initiatives to tackle this issue.

The Police IP Crime Unit was launched in September 2013 and has had significant impact having arrested over 60 people and suspended over 5,000 internet domain names. In 2014/15 Border Force detained over 1.6 million IP infringing items. If genuine the retail value of these items would have been in excess of £56 million. Ongoing enforcement initiatives include Operation Jasper, which is tackling the use of social media to sell counterfeit items, and work by National Trading Standards and the IPO Intelligence Hub to deal with the risks posed by ‘fulfilment houses’ that supply many items purchased online.

The Government keeps the regulatory framework under review but believes the existing legislative framework enables the appropriate action to be taken against suppliers of counterfeit goods.

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