About the Alliance

Alliance marks 10 years of achievement with call for more action

  • Important legislative changes made
  • Dedicated IP minister
  • More funding for trading standards

But Alliance urges government departments to work more closely to ensure IP is at core of public policy making

5 June 2008

For 10 years the Alliance has been campaigning for an IP regime that truly protects IP rights. A great deal has been achieved:

  • Increase of maximum penalties for copyright infringement to match those for trade mark infringement;
  • Trading standards finally being given the power and duty to enforce copyright law; and
  • The inclusion of IP crime as a lifestyle offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

But progress continues to be hampered by a lack of co-ordination from the numerous government departments that have a role to play in ensuring IP rights are protected and IP law effectively enforced.

Departments from Innovation, Universities and Skills and Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Culture, Media and Sport, to the Home Office, Ministry and Justice and Communities and Local Government all have policy responsibilities which impact the ability to create a coherent IP regime. For example:

  • There is still no effective system of damages in the UK able to act a true deterrent to IP infringement;
  • The government continues to delay in addressing the problem of car boot sales awash with fake goods;
  • IP crime does not feature high enough on priorities of local authorities meaning trading standards do not always receive the funding they need;
  • Companies still struggle in receiving redress when victims of copycat packaging.

Alliance Chair, Lavinia Carey, said:

“While having made the case at a political level for IP rights to be properly protected and seen through a number of policy improvements, the fact the Alliance is still going strong after 10 years reflects the now much bigger need to place IP at the core of public policy making.

“UK Industry continues to lose at least £10 billion a year from IP theft – a figure likely to grow with the explosion of illegal filesharing sites, digital copyright and trade mark theft and on-line trade in fakes – with serious criminal gangs ever ready to exploit the ease with which they can ply their illegal wares.

“Tackling this effectively is only possible with all parts of government working together and fully appreciating the economic, social and consumer impact of IP theft. Industry clearly has a role to play here too, and the Alliance is ready and willing to be government’s partner in ensuring that, with the rapid technological changes we face, the UK’s IP regime continues to be robust, effective and fit for purpose.”

For furtrer information please contact
Susie Winter at susie@allianceagainstiptheft.co.uk
or on 020 7534 0595