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MPs Encouraged to ‘Spot the Fake’ Print Page

27 February 2006

Importance of intellectual property showcased in heart of parliament

The creative industries contribute over 8% of the UK’s GDP and are responsible for nearly two million jobs, but there remains a significant lack of understanding regarding the role and importance of intellectual property (IP).

MPs are therefore being challenged to ‘Spot the Fake’ at a new exhibition in the House of Commons. The exhibition, organised by the Alliance Against IP Theft, will allow MPs and Peers to view examples of fake goods, and hear first hand the importance of IP to innovation and enterprise.

Intellectual property theft impacts all aspects of the creative and manufacturing industries; typically a major release of a new film on DVD loses 20-30% through illegal copying, criminals made over £500 million through producing and selling fake games software, while the music industry lost £654 million during 2003 and 2004 through illegal downloading alone.

Consumers are put at risk with the sale of potentially harmful products such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, alcohol, electrical goods and toys, and legitimate local businesses suffer, unable to compete with illegal traders.

Lavinia Carey, Chair of the Alliance Against IP Theft, said:

“The Government has recognised the increasing links between IP theft and other criminal activity however there is more work to be done.

“Intellectual property theft continues to be the perceived low risk, high profit criminal activity, with little value placed on the production of ideas and creativity. The sale of fake goods damages consumers, business and innovation. This event is a great opportunity for the Alliance to raise awareness among MPs and Peers of the importance of intellectual property protection.”

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