Earlier this month the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published its Intellectual Property Counter-Infringement Strategy 2022 to 2027. With its aim of making UK IP rights and rights owned by UK businesses internationally the best protected in the world, this will be welcomed news for many UK businesses who lose substantial sales, and suffer substantial reputational harm, as a result of counterfeit and pirated products.
The IPO’s recent press release has stated that this strategy “represents a step change in the IPO’s drive to protect IP rights. By partnering with others to set a global gold standard, it aims to make UK IP rights – and rights owned by UK businesses internationally – the best protected in the world” and seeks to “establish how enforcement agencies, government and industry can work together to build upon and improve current structures, ensuring that IP infringement is tackled coherently as a strategic economic and social threat – at home and internationally”.
The strategy’s 5 key commitments include:
1. The establishment of a national centre of excellence for the development and analysis of intelligence that relates to IP infringement, and place that at the core of IP enforcement against IP crime and infringement.
2. The development of intelligence and the coordination of activity and resources to counter IP crime and infringement by working with Trading Standards, Border Force and the Police.
3. A collaborative review of how IP crime is recorded with enforcement agencies.
4. The development of the IP Crime Group to enable the government, enforcement agencies and industry to have a strategic and tactical enforcement focus.
5. The development of impactful campaigns that will focus on both knowing and unknowing infringers to reduce IP crime and infringement.
Increased public awareness of, and criminal enforcement against, IP infringement will bring obvious benefits to businesses. However, it is inevitable that businesses will also continue to rely upon and deploy private civil actions to protect their IP rights by seeking remedies that include injunctions, delivery-up/destruction of infringing items and items used to make them, tracing orders, damages or an account of profits and cost awards.
If you would like advice about protecting your intellectual property rights, please get in touch.