15 December 2015Trademarks

Trading Standards cracks down on fake goods on social media

A UK government agency started its second round of anti-counterfeiting activities last week, targeting the use of illicit social media accounts to sell fake goods in the run up to Christmas.

Trading Standards, a consumer protection body, started the second round of Operation Jasper, a scheme specifically targeting the use of Facebook accounts to sell infringing goods.

Last week, a number of premises were raided and officials seized counterfeit clothing, footwear, headphones and tobacco products.

Since the operation started in May 7,800 Facebook profiles allegedly used to facilitate the sale of fake goods have been removed.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, UK minister for intellectual property, said: “The government is committed to tackling counterfeiting and it’s great to see this successful operation.

“Industry, government and enforcement agencies need to continue to work together to tackle counterfeiting and disrupt organised criminal networks who use social media sites to commit IP crime,” she added.

Trading Standards has worked with the National Market Group, which includes the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group and the Federation against Copyright Theft, as well as Facebook and a number of other bodies, in conducting the operation.

Mike Andrews, national coordinator for the Trading Standards eCrime team, said: “This year we’ve worked more closely with Facebook to take down rogue profiles and listings selling dangerous and counterfeit goods, and also pirated media.

“There are also more Facebook sellers taking orders from consumers and fulfilling those orders with goods from third-party sources,” he added.

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