Press release

Countries pledge to tackle multi-billion pound intellectual property crime

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new coalition to tackle counterfeiting, copyright infringement and other intellectual property crime has been launched.

A new coalition to tackle counterfeiting, copyright infringement and other intellectual property crime was launched at the first International Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement Summit in London today (Thursday 12 June).

More than 300 delegates from 30 countries attended the event hosted by the UK government in partnership with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Commission.

In his closing speech, Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger declared the next 12 months a ‘year of IP enforcement’ as he set out the scale of the task ahead and highlighted the important steps taken. This included an international commitment to maintain momentum in tackling IP crime as a global issue.

Lord Younger said:

Protecting people and business from criminal rights infringements is a real priority for me and the government as a whole. We will be working with our international partners and the enforcement community in the UK to do just that.

Our regime in the UK is already world-leading and I am personally committed to developing a programme of research and action to support this further. The relationships forged at the summit are a key part of this and are important for ensuring that we can respond effectively to future challenges.

The activities for the coming year will include:

  • for the fourth year running, the UK will be the lead partner in Operation Opson the Interpol-Europol coordinated action to tackle fake food
  • the continuing work of the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, funded by the Intellectual Property Office, to tackle piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods online
  • a review of criminal penalties for online copyright infringement to assess whether the maximum penalty of 2 years should be brought into line with the 10 year maximum penalty for physical infringement
  • the publication in September 2013 of the UK IP Crime Group’s 9th IP Crime Report is the widest ranging yet. This will highlight current and emerging threats in counterfeiting and piracy
  • a government review into how other countries have tackled online copyright enforcement issues, which will be published in autumn 2014

Delegates agreed to continue to work in partnership, supporting and strengthening the effectiveness of governments, enforcement agencies, border authorities and regulators in tackling IP crime by:

  • sharing information and identifying opportunities to improve enforcement approaches and frameworks
  • sharing and applying best practice and the most effective tools, techniques and analysis to enhance detection and deter physical and online IP infringement
  • enhancing public and private sector cooperation at international borders

Key partners also agreed the intention to gather again in 2016.

Notes for Editors

  1. The International Intellectual Property Enforcement Summit is a major new event to bring together senior leaders from the global IP and enforcement community to share knowledge and best practice. International enforcement summit 2014 final communiqué. (PDF, 289KB, 2 pages)

  2. It is a joint initiative developed with the European Commission and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and will be hosted by the UK Intellectual Property Office in Central Hall Westminster, London on 11-12 June 2014.
  3. More than 300 delegates attended the event ranging from senior UK and international politicians, representatives from national IP offices and institutions; multinational companies and brands; IP enforcement policy and operational professions including customs, Europol and Interpol; UK and international press and media representatives.
  4. According to some industry estimates global piracy could account for as much as $240 billion next year (2015), adding in counterfeit products and this could rise to over $1 trillion.
  5. The UK has been ranked number one in the world for its IP regime in the Taylor Wessing Global IP Index and number one for enforcement of IP in the US Chamber of Commerce’s IP Index.
  6. The UK IPO has responsibility for developing IP policy and its legal framework. The IPO does not have any enforcement powers - these reside with the police, Trading Standards and HMRC. The UK IPO also manages a central repository of IP intelligence within the UK and coordinates the UK response to tacking counterfeiting and piracy through the UK IP Crime Group.
  7. The IP Crime Group is a strategic group that brings together industry, enforcement agencies and government to coordinate best practice and awareness raising activities. The group works in partnership to find common ground where there are sometimes conflicting interests and concerns amongst members.
  8. The annual IP Crime Report is an example of how the IP Crime Group works together and summarises the threat posed by IP crime and the activities undertaken to tackle this. The IP Crime ‘Highlight Report’ for the Summit, can be accessed at This collates key facts and figures from the data collected for the 2013/14 IP Crime Report. The full report will be published in the autumn 2014.
  9. The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) launched in September 2013. It is a specialist police unit dedicated to protecting the UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and digital content from intellectual property crime, with a particular focus to online crime. The unit is based at the Economic Crime Directorate (ECD) at the City of London Police, the national police lead for fraud and is initially being funded by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).