By Rohan Singh (Special Counsel) & Jessica Noakesmith (Graduate)

A recent report based on customs’ seizures by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that fake information and communications technology (ICT) goods accounted for 6.5% of the overall ICT trade, well up on the 2.5% of overall traded goods found to be fake in a 2016 report. The report included both final products and intermediary parts such as network components and communications hardware, and concluded that nearly one in five mobile phones and one in four video game consoles shipped internationally is fake. This is not a shock as the steady demand for products in the ICT sector is a lucrative target.

Counterfeits are products that infringe trade mark with the intent of passing them off as authentic. As ICT goods are more complex than say fake handbags, the average consumer cannot tell the difference between a branded smart phone and a counterfeit phone or component. The effect of counterfeiting is widely felt by businesses across in the ICT sector in many regions.

What can you do as a business?

Businesses can take active steps to combat counterfeits, though registration of IP rights, investigations, Customs recordals, and enforcement action such as cease and desist letters and litigation.

But businesses can also take pre-emptive steps to reduce the risk of infringement through appropriate controls and security in design and marketing, as well as the manufacturing and distribution process, at least to make yourself a hard target for counterfeiters.

How we can help you

As a global law firm, we can assist you with the registration and enforcement of your intellectual property rights, as well as advice on processes and commercial arrangements, which make things as difficult as possible for counterfeiters, and make it easier to locate and identify fakes.