Out-Law News

IP crime police unit receives additional funding

The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has received an additional £3 million of funding to support its efforts in combating online copyright infringement and other IP crime.

The funding means PIPCU will remain operational for until at least the beginning of 2017, the government said.

"The extra funding is very welcome but of course needs to be deployed effectively in further developing specialist police expertise in this area," IP dispute resolution expert Jim Cormack of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said.

"If cases are to be successfully brought before the courts, then it is also vital that expert prosecutors are also available. It is key for law enforcement agencies to liaise effectively with technology owners to obtain information and evidence about their rights," he said.

PIPCU has been operating for over a year and in that time has suspended more than 2,300 domain names, seized £1.29 million worth of suspected fake goods and launched an initiative aimed at preventing websites providing internet users from accessing copyright infringing material, the government said.

City of London Police commander Steve Head, said the extra funding for PIPCU was "very bad news for those that seek to make capital through intellectual property crime". He said the unit had helped address the cost of IP crime during its year in operation by "moving away from traditional policing methods and embracing new and innovative tactics, to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks responsible for causing huge damages to legitimate businesses".

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