HC Deb 13 February 1981 vol 998 cc432-3W
Mr. Moate

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to protect United Kingdom manufacturers of motor parts and accessories against counterfeiting by foreign manufacturers.

Mr. Parkinson

First, the Government urges United Kingdom manufacturers to obtain patent and trade mark registration before their goods are marketed. We encourage countries who have not yet done so to accede to the Paris Convention, and United Kingdom manufacturers can now obtain this sort of protection in over 90 countries.

Secondly the Government are ready to make representations on a bilateral basis, when possible, where adequate evidence is available and United Kingdom manufacturers have been unable to obtain redress through legal processes. Where, as in the case of Taiwan, bilateral approaches are not possible, the Government advise manufacturers to take up the matter directly with the Taiwanese authorities or through the Anglo-Taiwan trade committee. I have amply expressed the Government's concern at counterfeiting in Taiwan and have reason to believe that the authorities recognise that it is unacceptable and must be stopped.

Third, the Government are urging, through the Community, the bringing into operation of a GATT agreement on measures to discourage the importation of counterfeit goods. This agreement should stiffen the legislation in signatory countries against counterfeit goods and generally foster internationally a climate of opinion against counterfeiting.

Mr. Moale

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what representations he has received about counterfeiting of United Kingdom accessories and components; what is his assessment of the scale of such counterfeiting; and which countries are the principal offenders.

Mr. Parkinson

I have received evidence gathered by the trade journal,Auto Accessory Retailer, and by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and I am examining this. I know of the seriousness with which United Kingdom manufacturers view the problem and I share their concern. So far as I and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport are aware, very few counterfeit products have been detected on sale in this country; appropriate action has been taken in each case. I am unable to estimate the extent of sales elsewhere, but we believe they are sufficient to have a significant adverse effect on some United Kingdom exporters. Many complaints name Taiwan as the place of manufacture, but counterfeits also appear to have orginated from several other countries.

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