Intellectual Property Crime / Counterfeiting
Intellectual property crime or counterfeiting as it is more commonly known as is a huge problem globally, with millions of counterfeit goods being produced and sold every year. It is estimated that up to 10% of perfumes and toiletries in the market place are fakes, along with 12% of toys and sports goods.
Counterfeit goods are deliberately produced to resemble well-known brands.
For many people, buying a counterfeit item can seem like a good way to purchase a designer item at a knockdown price.
However, consumers often do not realise that part of the reason these goods are cheaper than the real thing is because they are badly made, and sometimes even dangerous.
Buying counterfeit goods can also have much greater consequences than people realise, and you could end up unwittingly giving money to organised crime. Counterfeiters also have a huge impact on legitimate businesses, which causes them to lose millions of pounds of revenue a year. You are obviously far less at risk of buying counterfeit goods if you shop at well established retailers than from someone selling out of a suitcase in the high street.
Popular amongst counterfeited items are sportswear, designer label clothing, perfume, tobacco products and alcohol, CD's, computer software and DVD's.
Examine any items you are thinking of buying carefully. Poor quality labels and packaging on perfumes and cosmetics can often indicate that the items inside are not genuine. If you are buying CDs and DVDs be wary of any with poor quality inlay cards, no artist name on the cassette label or disc face and no outer cellophane wrapping. CDs that are not silver will be copies. Also look out for CDs, DVDs, and video cassettes without security holograms and photocopied labels.
Although good bargains can always be found it pays to be aware that if something seems too good to be true it probably is.
Bridgend Trading Standards seize hundreds to thousands of counterfeit goods each year, occasionally from market stalls, but increasingly from the homes of manufacturers who use new technology to counterfeit computer software CD's and DVD's and sell them on the internet.
If you want to report a trader suspected of selling couterfeit items, call Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4 040506 or email email@example.com.