UK’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit receives £3m of extra funding

The UK’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is set to receive £3m of extra funding over the next two years. The PIPCU is a specialist unit which was set up last year to tackle the UK’s growing problems with digital piracy, intellectual property infringement and counterfeit goods. 

The funding, granted earlier this month, will provide a major boost to the PIPCU up to 2017.  The commitment, which is seen as part of the Government’s fight against IP crime, was announced at the Anti-Counterfeiting Group Conference in London.

The PIPCU is a 21-person team consisting of: detectives; police staff investigators; analysts; researchers; an education officer; a communications officer and is backed by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “We’ve seen significant success in PIPCU’s first year of operation.  This extra support will help them to build on this impressive record in the fight against intellectual property crime, which costs the UK at least £1.3bn a year in lost profits and taxes.

“With more money now being invested in ideas than factories or machinery in the UK, it is vital that we protect creators and consumers and the UK’s economic growth.

“Government and industry must work together to give long-term support to PIPCU, so that we can strengthen the UK’s response to the blight of piracy and counterfeiters.”

Since the PIPCU came into action last year, they have investigated more than £29m worth of IP crime, suspended 2,359 internet domain names, and diverted more than five million visits from copyright infringing sites to the PIPCU domain suspension page.  Previously, the IPO had supported the PIPCU with £2.56m of funding for two years starting from September 2013, but now there is an additional £3m being added to build upon the unit’s success so far.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.