In a report published today the impact of counterfeiting and the sale of black market goods in Manchester is laid bare.
In a statement by the Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Ross, the Government said that it is committed to protecting the public from the insidious threat posed by organised crime, and is fighting against its lifeblood - the black market economy of which counterfeit goods play an important income generating part.
According to the report the production, distribution, and sale of counterfeit goods has always had close links to serious organised crime but thanks to the increasing partnership between government departments, industry, and law enforcement fewer places for criminals to hide exist.
The report focuses on the Cheetham Hill area of the city, frequently referred to as "Counterfeit Street" which is described as a 'counterfeiting hotbed' in which the black market, counterfeit industry thrives. The types of goods and products the subject of counterfeiting are wide ranging and pose significant risks not only to the profitability of the industries from which they derive but also consumer health. Copies and fakes of items normally targeted by counterfeiters such as clothing, footwear, jewellery, fragrances, electronics and toiletries were all seized but worryingly vodka, cigarettes and similar counterfeit consumable items were also seized by the authorities. These pose a particular threat to the health of the public and previously there have been cases where such goods have poisoned consumers. See, for example, the recent article in the Daily Express concerning fake vodka which contained chloroform.The seizures also highlight that millions of pounds worth of tax and duty is being sucked out of the tax system. First money is not being paid on sales of the counterfeit goods and second less legitimate goods where the companies pay the relevant taxes are made.
Despite the efforts of the authorities the problem is described as being so ingrained in the fabric of everyday life in the area that the problem persists, with the businesses often operational again within days of action being taken.Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for neighbourhoods said, "I welcome that the government has recognised this issue and look forward to our officers working as part of a wider partnership to tackle the counterfeit trade."
If you are affected by the issues raised in this article the team at McDaniel & Co. are experts in dealing with occurences of counterfeiting and copying and can be contacted on 0191 2814000 or firstname.lastname@example.org: Consumer Law, Copyright, Designs, News, Regulatory, Trade Marks