Transfer Pricing Associates

IP Theft Reaches New Highs

post Monday December 10, 2012

hacker, free digital photos

Every year investment in intangible assets in the UK passes investments in tangible assets. Unfortunately, so does theft in intangibles. In recent years, knowledge of the enormous value harbored in a company’s intellectual property has become more and more widespread. As a result of its growing popularity, it has become the target of many copycats trying to grab a piece of the pie. Black markets for intangibles have emerged, providing counterfeit products that take advantage of the brand or IP of another product.

They range from tobacco, to honey, to alcohol to veterinary drugs. Basically, every product that can be counterfeited has been counterfeited. These copies can cause significant harm, poisoning and sometimes cause deaths among people and animals.

The public, however, faces some difficulty in understanding the severance of digital IP theft. They find it hard to think that by downloading a digital product for free, they are part taking in criminal activity.  
These networks of IP theft often expand internationally and involve sophisticated methods and technology.

It is therefore hard to fight these types of crimes, as it requires significant coordination both domestically and internationally. The IPO provides services to help investigators in such cases and provide enforcement of legal rights. Recently, a data sharing network designed to coordinate  the investigation of IP crimes, was set up. The organization, called the National Trading Standards IP Group, is focused on handling copyright and trademark crimes. Offenders of such crimes will have their assets stripped.

If you spot fake tangible or intangible goods, contact your local trading standards office. 

Image: Free Digital Photos

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