Registered trademarks are protected under the Trade Marks Act 1994. It is illegal to apply a registered trade mark to goods without the permission of the trade mark owner.
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 deals with issues that may occur with any artistic or literary work such as , books, computer programs, music, films or other electronic media. The copyright may be infringed if these goods are copied without the permission of the copyright owner.
Advice to traders
In most cases, to say “I didn’t know” will not be a defence. You must make an effort to ensure the goods you sell are genuine.
Every year there are new goods released that are instantly popular and each year counterfeit copies of these goods are made and sold. Merchandise from film and children’s programmes are particularly popular. Many high street stores will stock genuine products so have a look at these to get an idea of what labels are on or attached to the goods, the price of the goods and the quality of the goods.
Ask your supplier for written assurance that the goods you are buying are genuine, licensed product and comply with the above Acts. If they cannot or will not give a written assurance you have to consider that the goods may be counterfeit.
Do not sell any product that you have doubts about, contact us or the rights owner e.g. Disney or the BBC for more details.
You can visit our trade advice page to create and download an information pack to give you information on how your business can comply with the law.