At Christmas time the country is faced with a surge in counterfeits entering through our ports. The UK Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) has therefore recently launched its “Buy Real” campaign to highlight the serious consequences and dangers posed by buying fake merchandise which can lead to more than just disappointment for their Christmas recipients.
It has been reported that counterfeit items seized in recent weeks in the run-up to Christmas include:
82,320 Calvin Klein underpants worth approximately £1.5m;
450 Dyson fans and Apple chargers worth approximately £182,500;
16,000 Gillette Mach 3 razor blades worth approximately £143,840;
1,440 Superdry hoodie tops worth approximately £100,000;
1,530 Pandora charms worth approximately £45,900;
2,112 Spiderman, Pokemon and Hello Kitty hand held fans worth approximately £31,680;
379 Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund football shirts worth approximately £16,149; and
48 pairs of Nike Vapormax trainers worth approximately £5,760.
Adopting a humorous approach in delivering the message, the IPO are seeking to draw the public’s attention to the very real risk faced should they buy cheap and inferior counterfeits at Christmas. They have created a film on Youtube in which a couple sing about their counterfeit gifts over “The Twelve Fake Days Of Christmas” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAY0cG4Ndrs which, as well as including inferior inadequate and unusable products, also lead to them suffering rashes, injuries, hospitalisation and public humiliation. The IPO hopes that by taking this humorous approach they can reach consumers who have ignored their previous messages.
Ros Lynch, the Copyright and IP Enforcement Director at the IPO told the BBC:- “Those involved in counterfeiting are in the business to take advantage of consumers and make huge profits in the process. The goods are often of inferior quality, dangerous and the proceeds can be used to fund other serious organised crime. Counterfeiters have a total disregard for safety or quality, and even if items look genuine at first, they may end up being a dangerous or inferior copy.”
Sean Gigg, a Border Force Higher Officer at Southampton Dock also told the BBC:- “Counterfeiters will counterfeit anything. It's based on supply and demand. It can be anything from cosmetics to jewellery to watches to the latest toys but also undergarments as well.”
The wide variety of products seized at the ports highlights that consumers need to be alert not just to whether deals they encounter in the course of their Christmas shopping are too good to be true for the goods in question to be genuine but also the much more serious consequences to life, limb and safety which many of these products pose.
DMH Stallard has a team of intellectual property specialists who can advise and assist on Customs Applications to fight against counterfeit goods being imported into the UK and EU as well as the range of IP enforcement options available for clients.
For more information contact: