Advice To Help You Comply With Legislation

Intellectual Property – Is Your Office A Marketplace?

Intellectual property is the lifeblood of many businesses, whether they are large or small in size, and its theft is highly detrimental, affecting both them and the national economy as a whole. Examples of intellectual property include patents, designs, software, brand names, and original works of art such as books, music, and films.

Commonly known as ‘Piracy’ or, where fake goods are produced, ‘Counterfeiting’, the theft of intellectual property can take place in any marketplace, including the internet, in retail premises, at car boot sales and more increasingly within the workplace.

IP Theft At Work

Intellectual property theft in the workplace can take place when unlicensed software is used or shared, or employees or people from outside copy and sell DVDs and CDs. It can also occur when employees illegally download files or share files using the resources employers provide them.

Use of employer’s premises or facilities could have repercussions both for employer and employee, so it is important that businesses are aware of the issue and ensure their staff do not use counterfeit or pirated goods or software. You can find more information on Counterfeiting & IP Theft on our consumer pages.

Further Information

Devon & Somerset Trading Standards recognises that businesses may need to take action to protect themselves from this criminal activity and endorses the following websites as further sources of advice in relation to IP crime in the workplace:

Alliance against Intellectual Property Theft
The Anti Counterfeiting Group

If you would like to report the sale or production of counterfeit material, please telephone the Citizens Advice Consumer Service 03454 040506 or 0208 1850710.  You can give information anonymously if preferred.