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have a REAL Merry Christmas - Who wants a FAKE Christmas Present!!!

17 December 2009

As we all run into the last week of the Christmas shopping frenzy and the inevitable sales, the combination of a climate where money is tight and the desire for a bargain could mean some of us end up paying a high price for fakes. The criminal underworld gear up for this period and millions of poor quality counterfeits will be hitting the UK market stalls and car boot sales.

Warnings from the UK IPO indicate that we all should be particularly aware of the following types of goods which may have all the external appearance of the genuine article:

  • mobile phones, and their accessories
  • ghd hair straighteners – can be electrically unsafe and potentially life-threatening
  • Nintendo DS Lite consoles – the charger could be dangerous
  • video games – often contain viruses
  • children’s toys and action figures, which may have loose parts or contain toxic materials
  • perfumes, cosmetics and personal care items
  • alcoholic drinks – high levels of methanol can be lethal
  • Christmas lights and batteries

A new campaign – www.realdealmarkets.co.uk- which is supported by the Trading Standards Institute, has been developed to help consumers choose markets and stalls that have been vetted by trading standards. The question is why – is the consumer really that naïve? It is not only the counterfeiters that should bear the blame for this burgeoning criminal industry, the average consumer knows that when he or she is getting a bargain that’s too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true. While consumers obviously need protection they also need to take more personal responsibility for contributing to one of the UK’s growing criminal industries, including restrictions on any remedies available to them.

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Declan Cushley

Declan Cushley

Partner and Head of IP and Commercial Group

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