§ Mr. Steinberg
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made in dealing with the problems of counterfeit consumer goods; and if he will give the latest estimate of the cost to the manufacturing industry of this illicit trade.
§ Mr. Leigh
The Government's role in combating counterfeiting is limited to providing the necessary legislative framework. Around three years ago, provisions994W came into force making the counterfeiting of a trade mark a criminal offence carrying heavy penalties. The enforcement of the law is the responsibility of local trading standard officers, who may act either on their own initiative or on intelligence from industry. There is also the possibility for industry to take civil action against counterfeiting. The Government have no figures of their own as to the extent of the trade in counterfeit consumer goods.