Marketing Week could not be more wrong in its assertion that the Alliance Against Counterfeiting & Piracy has accused the Government of stealing its legislative ideas (MW March 2 ).
If the Government decides to adopt our proposals for tightening the law on copycat and counterfeit goods, we will be delighted. We have been working closely with civil servants in the Department of Trade & Industry for several months to find a form of legislation acceptable to industry and government, and one which provides necessary protection for consumers – both now and in the future. Counterfeiting and piracy cost British industry £6bn a year, and the Exchequer £1bn in unpaid taxes, so both industry and the Government have a shared interest in tackling this problem.
The pre-legislative consultation announced by the Government is the start of another legislative channel that is working towards a similar end: tough new laws to protect creativity in British industry. Quite why this should be “galling” to the alliance, as your article suggests, is unclear.
Whatever way such legislation passes through Parliament, we shall welcome it. We are interested in the end of the process, not the means. It is a shame Marketing Week has sought to create divisions and conflicts with the Government where none have ever existed.
Alliance Against Counterfeiting & Piracy