The Intellectual Property Office in their 2016/17 Crime Report brings together the key partners who are protecting our businesses and consumers against criminality. The IP crime protection community represents a blending of government, law-enforcers, trade and industry groups and individual companies. Their report provides an insight into the work of the IP crime fighters, from local initiatives against street traders in Manchester, to complex multi-agency initiatives like Operation Jasper, to the development of effective legal remedies against IP crime through the courts.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Specialist Fraud Division (SFD) prosecutes the majority of intellectual property crimes. Whilst CPS areas retain responsibility for a small number of cases, SFD are particularly responsible for the most complex cases. The SFD have a great deal of experience in prosecuting a wide range of cases and are fully equipped to prosecute those that are more complex. SFD continue to work closely with the specialist Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in the City of London Police to make sure that the CPS is fully prepared for these cases and that there is a consistent and co-ordinated approach going forward.
One of the successful prosecutions was of Re Meraj Gul and Others. In July 2014 the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) received a report of crime from Surelock International Limited (Surelock). Surelock are security consultants and investigators who are authorised to conduct investigations on behalf of music merchandising companies who hold the trade mark rights of various music artists and record labels.
Surelock identified that merchandising comprising of hooded tops, sweaters, t-shirts, vest tops and hats had been sold through the online auction site, eBay by a number of eBay sellers without the consent or authorisation of the genuine rights holder for each of the articles being infringed.
The proceeds of sale were received into PayPal accounts. Once money was deposited into the PayPal accounts it was withdrawn and transferred to personal bank accounts belonging to the sellers.
Between 1 March 2012 and 2 January 2014, Surelock made five test purchases from three eBay accounts which were identified as being used to sell merchandising.
Enquiries were made of eBay and PayPal and as a result suspicion centred on Meraj Gul and others who allowed their accounts to be used to receive funds received via PayPal.
On 3 February 2015 the accused were arrested. A small annex was also discovered at a property which was being used for the production of branded clothing items.
Seized items from this address comprised of electronic items, CCTV equipment, branded and non-branded clothing, documentation relating to the sale and supply of branded clothing, packaging materials, production machinery and vinyl transfers used to produce goods
The various companies have confirmed that neither the accused nor Gul Enterprises Ltd had permission to sell their goods. In total Meraj Gul received £131,382 from PayPal into accounts in his name.
Meraj Gul pleaded guilty to a substantive offence contrary to section 92(1) (b) of the Trade Marks Act 1994.
He accepted that his co-defendants were just acting on his instructions.
In the circumstances it was decided to proceed solely against Meraj Gul.
On 2 June 2017 he was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and confiscation proceedings were instituted.
For copy of the full report please follow the link below
Experts have warned that counterfeit perfume seized in Peterborough could pose a risk to unsuspecting consumers.
Peterborough City Council’s trading standards team seized over 400 perfumes from the Wellington Street car boot sale as part of a recent joint operation with brand representatives.
Officers are now warning the public to be on the lookout if buying perfume through social media and online auction websites, as well as at car boot sales.
The fake perfume seized included counterfeit versions of Chanel, Kenzo, Hugo Boss and Dior. These are being styled by the counterfeiters as 30 to 40ml demonstrators or testers. This approach is believed to be an attempt by the traders to justify why these goods are being sold at car boot sales.
Officers will now be taking enforcement action against the traders involved and all perfume will be destroyed.
Previously tested counterfeit aftershaves and perfumes have been found to contain excessive amounts of methanol amongst other ingredients. High levels of methanol can cause skin conditions in the form of rashes and reactions to consumers especially those with sensitive skin or dermatitis.
Another safety consideration is that high levels of methanol makes the perfume much more flammable.
A representative of Surelock International, UK representative for many designer brands, said: “Once again we are very pleased to have worked with Peterborough Trading Standards, and this is a great result. Counterfeit perfumes are unregulated, and recent testing has shown the contents can pose a safety risk to unsuspecting consumers.”
Rob Edmunds from Peterborough Trading Standards said: “Selling these fake perfumes as testers is a new tactic by counterfeiters and we urge residents to avoid buying them if they see these items online or at car boot sales and markets. Not only is it against the law, selling counterfeit goods undercuts genuine traders and these perfumes pose a health and safety risk to the public.”
Anyone with information regarding counterfeit products should contact the trading standards team in confidence by emailing [email protected]
Another successful result by Surelock investigators, having identified prolific sellers of counterfeit t-shirts on eBay.
In this economic climate when financial decisions are heavily weighed by priorities why should you consider training your staff in security? Good question, but we all know that saying of “shutting the stable door once the horse has bolted” and the significance it has in our current climate doesn’t bear thinking about, or does it?
Security affects everyone, every home, every business, everywhere. We all need to be alert and know our options to assist protecting ourselves, our colleagues, our neighbours and indeed the guy next to you in the street because believe it or not we all have an instinct that we don’t give ourselves credit for or recognise until it has kicked in, and that is survival.
There is much advice currently available from various public organisations whose existence is ultimately for our protection. Do you know the UK’s current national threat level, how to check it or what to do if it is at its highest level?
Check the National Counter Terrorism Security Office advice for security managers of crowded places following a threat level to CRITICAL https://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Documents/nactso-advice-for-security-managers-of-crowded-places.pdf which provides us with information about the national threat level on the MI5 Security Service website https://www.mi5.gov.uk/threat-levels
Business is ultimately about people. Well-trained and motivated teams make the difference and this is especially valid when it comes to security issues. Surelock has a portfolio of practical courses and seminars which are able to help you combat crime and reduce security risks. Bespoke courses can also be developed to meet your personnel’s particular needs.
We are reasonably priced and have SIA Approved Trainers and those with City & Guilds Teaching Adult Learners qualifications that have provided training to blue-chip companies, major pharmaceutical companies, local authorities, NHS Trusts, overseas government officials, major institutes, large and small organisations, public and private schools/educational establishments, banking/financial operations and other corporate clients. In addition to recognition and validation previously by The Security Institute, these Training Courses have been approved by HM Government and by the British Institute of Facilities Management.
Contact us for information about our courses – [email protected] +44 (0) 333 6000 300
In July 2014, Surelock International Limited provided the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) with evidence leading to a prison sentence of 30 months for Woolwich man Meraj Gul, who pleaded guilty to selling goods with unauthorised trademarks.
Acting Detective Superintendent and Head of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), Peter Ratcliffe, said: “This sentencing proves that producing, selling and distributing fake goods online will not go unpunished. Not only does this act deprive the creative industry of revenue, it also puts the livelihoods of those working in it at risk.”
“Through the hard work of our officers, and working with industry partners such as Surelock, we have effectively brought the man responsible to justice.”
Director of Surelock, Ron Harrison, said: “Surelock are one of the UK’s most pro-active brand protection companies, who represent a number of clients including music artists where we act as enforcement agents for Trademarks and Rightsholders Against Piracy (TRAP). We received excellent service and cooperation from City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). A large amount of counterfeit merchandise was seized and this was ultimately a very successful operation for which we are grateful.”
Another successful result by Surelock investigators, having identified prolific sellers of Benefit cosmetics on eBay, we carried out covert test purchases, authenticated these as counterfeit and provided the authorities with an evidence package. Then after monitoring the many thousands of sales we liaised with Nottingham Trading Standards who raided the premises, seizing hundreds of counterfeit stock and conducted a criminal prosecution.
Search engines are now pledging to make it much harder for UK internet users to find pirated films and music and illegally streamed sport.
Director general Eddy Leviten of Alliance for Intellectual Property tells the Today programme search engines will endeavour to “accelerate the demotion of pirate websites”.
Fake cosmetics estimated to be worth almost £100 million – including products packaged to look like the famous brands Chanel, Christian Dior and Estée Lauder – have been seized in a wide-ranging swoop in China.
Police in China’s eastern Taizhou city discovered the products in 1,200 boxes, found during seven raids earlier this month, authorities said late on Wednesday, in social media posts.
The operation has seen 15 suspects being detained, 13 of which have already been charged by prosecutors.
Police started hunting the gang behind the fake cosmetics after they were made aware of a counterfeit toothpaste being sold online a year ago, state news agency Xinhua said.
In an effort to ensure that grievances did not go further, the gang offered instant refunds to anyone who complained about the products.
Xinhua said the syndicate had distributed products throughout China and that this month’s haul had a street value of 827 million yuan (£96m).
Call us on tel. 0333 6000 300 today and talk to one of our friendly and experienced team to find out more. All enquiries are treated in the strictest of confidence.
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