Intellectual property rights news - Nintendo in counterfeit consoles danger
The infringement of Intellectual property rights in the electronic games industry have made UK headlines this week after customs officials issued an alert over dangerous counterfeit consoles.
Hundreds of fake imported Nintendo DS and DS Lite consoles have been seized across the country after the power adaptors with the devices were identified as potentially unsafe and posing a risk of fire.
Customs (HMRC) issued a warning that the counterfeit Nintendo consoles represented a considerable danger to consumers in the UK stating;
"At best, these consoles would have led to disappointment on Christmas morning; at worst, they could have caused serious harm or injury."
She said that the UK economy faces significant damage as a result of the illegal trade in counterfeit goods, pointing out law-abiding businesses and retailers were being adversely affected by the problem.
According to Reuters news agency, consumers were buying the fake games consoles from Asian-based websites for about £40 instead of the recommended retail price of around £100 for genuine Nintendo devices.
Customs advised consumers to research purchases when prices seemed too good to be true and warned against buying from sites that were not regulated or reputable.
Customs further warned that plugging in the console may see the adaptor set on fire and wires begin to melt - and buying such counterfeit goods funds criminal activity abroad such as terrorism.
ELSPA, an electronic gaming association that represents Nintendo investigating IP crime, issued a warning to the UK. Managing director Mike Rawlinson said, "We are asking all concerned parents to be diligent."
As part of the operation to tackle this intellectual property rights (IPR) matter, the fake goods are usually seized and destroyed. All UK ports have been put on alert by HMRC for similar counterfeit goods.
Companies may employ IP lawyers, such as JMW Solicitors, to devise effective intellectual property enforcement programmes, including liaison with national customs authorities, to assist and deal with counterfeiting issues.