Anti-counterfeiting in the UK
Produced in partnership with Taylor Wessing LLP
Anti-counterfeiting in the UK

The following IP practice note produced in partnership with Taylor Wessing LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-counterfeiting in the UK
  • Customs
  • Tips—customs
  • Trading Standards and the police
  • Tips—Trading Standards and police
  • Civil litigation
  • Tips—civil litigation
  • Private criminal prosecutions
  • General tips

This Practice Note summarises the main types of legal action that can be taken against the UK trade in counterfeit goods, the pros and cons of each and includes some practical tips for brand owners. It covers actions by the authorities, including customs, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (TS) and the police, as well as civil actions and private criminal prosecutions by right holders. In some countries, it is also possible to bring administrative actions against infringers, but these are not dealt with here.

This Practice Note focuses on counterfeiting (meaning trade mark-related offences), but also touches on piracy (copyright-related offences). For information about counterfeit goods and the internet, see Practice Note: Sale of counterfeit goods online.

Customs

HMRC enforces IP rights in the UK, with responsibility for the borders and for postal consignments. HMRC has authority to inspect and detain goods imported into the UK for a wide range of IP infringements.

The key legislation in the UK is Retained Regulation (EU) 608/2013. Retained Regulation (EU) 608/2013 is derived from Regulation (EU) 608/2013 (the EU Customs Regulation) and forms part of retained EU law following IP completion day at 11 pm on 31 December 2020. Retained EU law is the collective term given to the body of EU-derived laws which were preserved and converted into domestic UK law when the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972

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