Clampdown on fake goods in Christmas run-up

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Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service has launched a crackdown on the sale of counterfeit goods at work in the run-up to Christmas.

With support from the Intellectual Property Office, the “Keeping It Real” campaign is seeing officers work with local businesses to provide awareness and guidance so employers and staff know what to look out for.

It follows a report by the IP Crime Group which identified “factories and industrial units” and “other workplaces” as being in the top 11 intellectual property crime locations.

Counterfeit goods are often offered for sale, especially in the run-up to Christmas. The most common “fakes” are clothes, DVDs and CDs, perfumes and cosmetics, software, cigarettes and alcohol.

These items are normally seen as cheaper alternatives to the genuine branded goods, but are often of inferior quality and sometimes dangerous.

County Coun. Janice Hanson, cabinet member for public protection services, said: “Our Trading Standards Service has seized fake vodka that can cause blindness, make-up full of untested and potentially harmful ingredients, and electrical goods that are completely unsafe.

“In the run-up to Christmas when everyone’s looking for a bargain and money can be tight, we’re trying to raise awareness of the dangers that can come from counterfeit goods.

“We’re pleased to be working closely with the Intellectual Property Office and will be enforcing a variety of legislation around copyright, patents, design and trademarks.”

To support the campaign, trading standards officers are providing information to businesses about how to protect their products from being faked, and visiting premises where problems have previously been reported about employees selling counterfeit goods.