Intellectual property (IP) crime is a collective term used to describe criminal activity linked to trade mark counterfeiting (fake branded goods) and copyright piracy (unauthorised copying of music, films and videos). It can often involve organised criminal groups who make and sell illegal copies of DVDs, fake branded products and pirated software.
The range of items that can be subject to copying includes pharmaceuticals, alcohol and toys as well as luxury branded goods, films and music. Fake goods can present real risks for users, since they are unlikely to meet the quality standards of the original product. Civil infringements may also occur in relation to trademarks and copyright, which can be pursued through the civil court system.
This guide explains what IP crime involves, the impact it can have on businesses and individuals, how to protect and enforce your own IP rights, and how to deal with IP crime in the workplace.