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Counterfeit Manufacturing: Internet

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps are being taken to tackle the trade in counterfeit goods on internet auction sites. (235829)

The Government's plan for the creative industries, Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy, PP1067, published in February 2008 and available in the Library of the House, recognised online infringement of intellectual property rights as a particular concern. That document set out the Government's general action plan for intellectual property enforcement, of which online enforcement forms an important segment. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is now leading in the Government's delivery of that plan. In line with the plan, local authority trading standards officers have been given expanded powers to deal with intellectual property crime. The Government have just completed a consultation on introducing exceptional summary (above £5,000) fines in magistrates' courts. The consultation is designed to align the penalties for online and physical copyright offences. And there is ever growing cooperation between law enforcement agencies and internet service providers. For example, eBay work closely with officials at the IPO and the enforcement agencies. During 2007, eBay trained some 7,000 law enforcement officials globally, assisted in over 66,000 investigations and the arrest or conviction of over 500 individuals.