Imitation maybe the sincerest form of flattery but it’s a compliment that many businesses could well do without. It has been estimated that counterfeiting costs legitimate business in the UK more than £3.5 bn annually.
But the big question, which has vexed big brand owners for many years, remains how best to deal with such infringers. Most owners of well-known brands rely on a combination of measures to tackle counterfeiters:-
- technical anti-counterfeiting measures, which make their products harder to copy and fakes easier to distinguish;
- self-funded civil enforcement against the most obvious targets;
- recourse to HMRC to stop imports and local Weights and Measures Authorities (Trading Standards) to stop sales in this country of counterfeit goods.