The IPKat learned yesterday that the Intellectual Property Office has just launched a Supply Chain Toolkit -- "a new best practice toolkit which gives businesses practical advice on how they can better protect themselves from the dangers of fake goods entering business supply chains". According to the press release,
"Developments in technology and communications have led to increases in intellectual property (IP) crime (counterfeiting and piracy) over the past decade, around $200billion per year, creating one of the biggest problems for businesses of all kinds around the world.
The Supply Chain Toolkit has been produced by the Intellectual Property Office’s IP Crime Group. It includes a step by step approach on what action should be taken if counterfeits are found within the supply chain and guidance on how to strengthen and protect IP assets....
Many businesses rely on goods received through supply chains, often from many different suppliers, and are therefore at risk from counterfeiting and piracy unless effective systems and agreements are put in place to tackle this problem ...".The Toolkit itself is tremendously handsomely produced. It's ostensibly 34 pages long but, by the time you eliminate the front cover, the white spaces, the green spaces, the graphics and so on, and take into account the generously large type, there's not a great deal of text to read. Some of the content is frankly puzzling and verging on the bizarre. The glossary, for example, contains such helpful terms as AstraZeneca, European Community, Trade Related Aspects Of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) -- concepts that do not suggest themselves as immediate choices for the middleman or small-time retailer who may wish to be more careful when it comes to selling fakes. The addressee will however be comforted to discover that he now has the contact details of the International Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI) and the Copyright Society of China, whose phones will soon be ringing red hot with inquiries from market stall-holders and white van drivers from all over middle England.