About the Alliance

Industry Calls on Government to End £9 Billion Theft of British Ideas

11 July 2001

The Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy today called for legislation to halt the rising tide of intellectual property crime. The annual members' survey, announced at their AGM today, shows that counterfeiting and piracy cost British industry almost £9 billion in 2000, an 8% increase on losses in 1999. The losses equate to £1.5 billion in lost tax revenue to the Chancellor.

Speaking earlier at the AGM, Lavinia Carey, Chair of the Alliance, said:

"Organised crime is a leech on the UK's creativity. Last year, Britain's industries lost £9 billion to counterfeits and pirated goods. Not only are these fakes sub-standard, and often dangerous - they represent the organised theft of British ideas. The proceeds feed directly into a criminal underworld of drug smuggling, money laundering, pornography and racketeering. It's time for the Government to crack down on those who steal inspiration and deal in lies, whilst lining their pockets at the public's expense."

The Alliance is calling for new legislation to pull intellectual property laws into line with laws on conventional theft and make it easier to catch and convict criminals. Following a Private Members Bill introduced by Andrew Miller MP earlier in the year, the Government has indicated support for legislation.

Recently appointed Consumer Affairs Minister Melanie Johnson MP made her first major speech on these issues at the Alliance AGM.

The cross-industry Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy - which represents companies with a combined turnover of over £250 billion - provides a unified voice for trade and representative organisations who share an interest in preventing counterfeiting and piracy in the UK.

For information about joining the Alliance please contact
Susie Winter at susie@allianceagainstiptheft.co.uk
or on 020 7534 0595