A big threat to brand owners

When fake products enter the market, they can significantly damage a brand’s reputation and revenue, in addition to harming the customers themselves.

Counterfeit products were typically sold at physical stores and markets and by door-to-door sales. However, with the ever-increasing use of the internet, online marketplaces, auctions and social media platforms have become more troublesome and accessible, meaning manufacturers and other third parties can now sell their products directly to the consumer in the UK from other parts of the world.

To tackle counterfeit issues successfully and promptly, a carefully devised anti-counterfeiting strategy is required to target areas which are likely to make the biggest impact. The earlier in the process rogue manufacturers and traders are identified, the more success there will be in preventing the sale of products in the UK. By taking a tough line, it is possible to disrupt these counterfeiting chains and divert the problem away from your brand.

It is important to take a global and holistic approach to anti-counterfeiting and use all the tools available to tackle the problem in the most efficient way. This will include using the police and Trading Standards to seize products and prosecute counterfeiters, preventing the importation of products into a relevant country by working with customs, issuing cease and desist letters and taking civil enforcement action, and working with software providers to remove infringing listings from online marketplaces and social media platforms.

We provide a global solution through our network of associate law firms which have significant expertise in dealing with anti-counterfeiting issues. In addition, we work with partners that provide technological solutions.

Our services

How we can help:

  • Advising on how to develop and implement effective strategies to tackle the importation and sale of counterfeit goods in the UK and overseas.
  • Conducting investigations into the sale of counterfeit goods.
  • Filing take down notices with Amazon, eBay and other online trading platforms both manually and electronically.
  • Preparing and filing customs notices (known as Applications for Action) to register a brand owner’s intellectual property rights with customs in the UK which gives customs the power to detain and seize counterfeit goods.
  • Issuing court proceedings against counterfeiters to obtain a search and seizure order and an interim injunction.
  • Conducting court proceedings before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and High Court.
  • Liaising with Trading Standards officers throughout the UK to identify and seize counterfeit goods.
  • Drafting s.9 witness statements to support prosecutions bought by Trading Standards.
  • Training Trading Standards and customs officers on how to identify counterfeit products.
  • Liaising with other bodies such as Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency.
  • Obtaining court orders requiring ISPs to block access to websites.
  • Conducting private criminal prosecutions.
  • Recovering the proceeds of crime.

Why choose Foot Anstey?

When it comes to tackling anti-counterfeiting issues, you can be reassured you will have access to our high-quality legal specialists, who know how to provide clear and strategic advice on how to deal with your issue in the most efficient way. They are also not afraid to challenge when necessary.

We are a member of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group which is one of the leading groups in the UK on tackling anti-counterfeiting issues and one of our lawyers has been a member of the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee at European Communities Trade Mark Association (“ECTA”) for several years. Our clients include international brands across a range of sectors, including retail and consumer, media and entertainment and finance.

The team consists of creative problem-solvers, who provide flexible solutions to suit your needs. This could include working in-house for clients to help with the brand protection function or providing an outsourced legal function for Boards. Our team is based across the UK in Southampton, London, Truro, Plymouth, Taunton, Exeter, Manchester and Bristol but our extensive experience extends beyond the UK and we regularly collaborate with other firms abroad, including partner intellectual property law firms in the US, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

In those difficult situations where your rights are challenged or you need to take action against others, we’ve got the right people, who are highly experienced in complex disputes, to fight your corner. We know when to be strong, challenging and even brave, depending on the scenario. As our anti-counterfeiting lawyers have a range of valued expertise, they can confidently advise on both private prosecutions and civil actions and whether to go down a route of involving customs authorities and Trading Standards – depending on whichever strategy suits your business best.

Our general approach is to try and avoid your exposure to litigation as far as possible, addressing your challenge in the most cost effective and efficient way to get you results.

Our people

Our team, led by renowned IP specialist Paul Cox, will understand what you are trying to achieve and then will advise on the best and most cost effective solutions to enable you to maximize the value and achieve your commercial objectives. Paul has also been admitted into the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for Intellectual Property (South East).

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