Produced in partnership with Taylor Wessing LLP

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

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

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for intellectual property?

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.


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

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