The IP Crime report contains many examples of the new tools and techniques being adopted to address IP Crime, including: deregistering domain names, the removal of payment services from sites selling counterfeit/infringing products, working with advertising companies to reduce advertising as a revenue source on such sites, and court blocking orders against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mainstream criminal prosecutions. The IPO Intelligence hub is pivotal in providing intelligence and coordination between different agencies and the industry, however there is still work to be done. Current estimates place the cost of IP criminality in terms of lost profits and taxes to the UK economy to be in the region of £1.3 billion per year. The annual IP Crime Report provides an overview of the preceding year in IP crime and the action taken to tackle it. It brings together case studies, survey data and analysis from all of the IP Crime Group members to help us better understand the nature of IP crime today, and how it has changed. It also considers the current drivers and characteristics of IP crime, consumer behavior and the role of organised crime and the collaborative and individual actions being done to tackle it.
Main Results of the Study
- The most investigated counterfeit products are clothing, cigarettes/tobacco and alcohol
- Most investigations are carried out in ordinary shops, on social media and auction sites/websites
- The top three crimes linked to IP crime are benefit fraud, money laundering and organised criminal networks
- Over 90% of Trading Standards Authorities work alongside the police, over 80% alongside other TS Authorities, and over 60% with HMRC, although this has reduced by around 20 percentage points over the past three years
- Collectively, across all industry bodies, 67% of authorities are working with the Anti Counterfeiting group, 48% with FACT and 39% with IFSP, although this has reduced by 14 percentage points over the past three years. More authorities are investigating organised criminal networks in their own area than last year. Less are investigating cross-authority or national/international crime networks
- Only 26% of authorities (as compared to 69% last year) cited the need for increased levels of law enforcement. Excluding Northern Ireland the average number of days spent tackling IP crime by Trading Standards decreased from 111 last year to 95 this year; this amounts to 16 days in each authority, a 14% decrease overall
- Less proactive monitoring of auction sites and other online market sites is being undertaken compared to last year; however there has been an increase in the monitoring of social media.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Coverage of Study
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