Insights Intellectual Property Office publishes the UK’s new Intellectual Property Counter-Infringement Strategy

The IPO says that its new five-year Strategy represents a step change in the IPO’s drive to protect IP rights. By partnering with others, it says it aims to make UK IP rights, and rights owned by UK businesses internationally, the best protected in the world.

The Strategy 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, both at home and internationally. It will be underpinned by a research plan, and the findings will be shared with partner organisations to build an evidence base to support and inform work.

The five key commitments in the Strategy include:

  • to establish a national centre of excellence for the development and analysis of intelligence relating to IP infringement, placing this at the core of IP enforcement activity and ensuring it takes a central lead and coordination role in the fight against IP crime and infringement;
  • to work with Trading Standards, Border Force and the Police to embed IPO-funded IP crime coordinators and champions in local regions to develop intelligence, coordinate activity and resource the fight against IP crime and infringement;
  • to work collaboratively with enforcement agencies to review how IP crime is recorded;
  • to develop the structures and membership of the IP Crime Group, enabling it to have a strategic and tactical enforcement focus across government, enforcement agencies and industry; and
  • to develop impactful campaigns to reduce IP crime and infringement, working with partners and focusing on both those knowingly and unknowingly infringing.

IP crime is often considered by criminals as a low-risk but very high-reward crime. The IPO’s new Strategy highlights the link between IP crime and other serious criminality such as money laundering, causing significant harm across communities. The Strategy recognises that increased public awareness and criminal enforcement are complementary elements in addressing these harms. It commits to working toward a time when IP infringement is seen as socially unacceptable to all, while delivering intelligence driven enforcement action against the perpetrators of IP crime.

The IPO says that the delivery plan will be intelligence-led, harm-focused, and continuously improved. Work within the strategy will be organised under three overarching themes:

  • partnership: to co-ordinate the UK’s fight against IP crime and infringement;
  • leadership: to continue to be a world leader on IP enforcement; and
  • education: to empower consumers and businesses and raise awareness and understanding of IP crime and infringement and risks surrounding it.

To read the IPO’s press release in full and for a link to the new Strategy, click here.