Intellectual Property Crime TM EYE operates Globally on behalf of Brand Owners tackling IP crime.
Since 2007 TM EYE has been at the forefront of the fight against counterfeiting. Assisting Brand Owners in this battle over the years we have represented many well-known clients, including manufacturers of brand named, high class, luxury goods across a range of products such as designer label clothing, handbags, perfumes and watches. In addition, TM EYE has had great success in dismantling and prosecuting criminal networks involved in counterfeiting pharmaceuticals and tobacco products. TM EYE is heavily engaged with the UK National Markets Committee as part of the ‘Real Deal’ campaign, alongside Trading Standards, Police and other anti-counterfeiting organisations managing the strategic response to IP crime. TM EYE’s Director, David McElvey, was recently appointed the Chairman of the Enforcement sub-committee of the National Markets Group.
Such is our success that TM EYE now has a memorandum of understanding with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to gather and share intelligence when tackling counterfeiters across the UK as well as a similar arrangement with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Criminal Record Office, to obtain previous convictions/cautions in support of private prosecutions.
We are one of the few organisations in the United Kingdom that engage in pro-active actions against criminal networks involved in this form of crime. The TM EYE team are all seasoned ex-Police detectives and Trading Standards officers, having served in units fighting organised crime. They are experts in surveillance, case preparation, disclosure and providing testimony. TM EYE’s success is built on applying the same tactics used when combatting organised crime into the area of Intellectual Property theft, thus enabling us to ‘catch and convict’ those involved. Our main aim is to gather evidence against those involved in such criminality and then, along with our partners in Trading Standards, the Police and other Law Enforcement agencies, seek to support criminal prosecutions.
We offer a complete package from gathering intelligence and evidence through to supporting raids and the completion of evidential
statements for court. We have the capacity to privately prosecute in the criminal courts on behalf of our clients and regularly undertake this approach.
TM Eye provides an independent service to the manufacturers and brand owners of luxury goods by assisting them with the detection, identification and any subsequent action against those involved in counterfeiting/piracy of their merchandise or products. Our service is structured and geared for collaborative effective actions, positive results, realistic costs, protection of intellectual property rights, and a visible and tangible deterrent to counterfeiters. We have a proven track record of outstanding results that include significant seizures of fake goods, the dismantling of the criminal networks involved in IP theft, successful prosecutions, as well as the recovery of assets. Working closely with our clients in a robust enforcement of their trademarks we ‘Prevent and Deter’ offending by those criminals involved in IP crime.
TM EYE carry out pro-active research of markets, locations, goods, history and development of illegal trading in counterfeit and pirated goods.
• Pro-active monitoring of current illegal activities, persons involved, supply and delivery patterns.
• Identification of counterfeit and pirated branded goods.
• The preparation of operational reports to Brand Owners for action.
We undertake pro-active operations alongside law-enforcement authorities to tackle crimes against our clients Intellectual Property rights. We assist the Judiciary in criminal cases by providing evidence and support to the courts and Prosecuting Authorities.
TM EYE Can supply our clients with specific reports on the illegal use of their brand names and copying of their products. We provide itemised product analysis, and offer effective services for the quick seizure of counterfeit goods. These seizures are legally executed in accordance with the appropriate criminal legislation and where necessary, with the assistance of the local authorities and police. This reduces client costs substantially, without reducing the effectiveness of the operations.
Pro-active cases often involve TM EYE investigators covertly attending markets well known for counterfeit selling therein gathering intelligence and evidence of criminality involving the sale of counterfeit goods. These are often resource intensive and medium to long term investigations.
All of this proactive intelligence and evidence gathering is completed at NO cost to the Brand Owner.
Enforcement action will follow.
Fake Britain - Cosmetics
Completion of expert evidence for prosecutions by lawenforcement agencies
Reactive cases involve the receipt of samples of suspected fake goods and requests from Trading Standards, Police, UKBA or other law enforcement agencies for evidence packages supporting criminal prosecutions.
In such cases TM EYE compile expert witness statements, digital photos of the examination, continuity of evidence, and disclosure for court. This will include attendance at court to give evidence, avoiding a company’s ability to trade when vital members of staff may be caught up in proceedings.
We also complete National Customs Applications to prevent the import of counterfeit goods and again support UK Border Agency officers in any detentions of goods with seizure notices and statements.
TM EYE undertakes both proactive and reactive investigations of those importing counterfeit goods into the UK to then identify suspects for Trading Standards and Police enforcement action or alternatively, to initiate private criminal prosecutions on behalf of the victim.
The prosecution of offenders through the criminal courts has become increasingly difficult due to the reduction in resources for Trading Standards Services, Police and other law enforcement agencies.
TM Eye undertakes Private Criminal Prosecutions on behalf of its Brand Owners. We gather overwhelming evidence of ‘crimes in action’ using established pro-active policing techniques. The evidence obtained is collated and submitted for review by our legal partners.
Once we have a substantive criminal case, we undertake enforcement action with Trading Standards and/or Police to gather and secure evidence and recover counterfeit goods. We then prosecute using specialist IP lawyers with their expert knowledge of the Illicit Trade Industry.
Trading Standards or Police Financial Investigation Teams work with us to identify criminal proceeds and assets so that these can be recovered/seized at the conclusion the case
THE BENEFITS INCLUDE:
• Expert evidence gathering.
• Specialist legal team experienced in IP crime.
• Recovery of costs for the Brand Owner.
• Minimal exposure to Brand Owner during court process
• Disruption of organised criminal networks.
• Fast time legal process.
• Recovery of proceeds of crime.
In partnership with our Intellectual Property specialist solicitors, TM EYE has successfully carried out numerous private criminal prosecutions since October 2011, on behalf of supportive brands and this has proved to be a most valuable and cost-effective tool for our Brand Owners in fighting the counterfeiting of their goods.
TM Eye actively monitors online markets and web sites that offer
TM Eye actively monitors online markets and web sites that offer counterfeit products. Our constant intelligence-gathering activities provide us with up-to-date information on the products, current methods of distribution, retail locations and approximate volumes of illegally branded and copied products.
Our internet team are highly experienced and have been extremely successful in tackling all kinds of criminality on the internet, including auction sites selling counterfeit products as well as rogue websites. TM EYE’s internet investigators have undertaken extensive content protection activities on behalf of clients, by targeting sellers advertising on public auction sites.
Through its worldwide investigations into websites offering counterfeit products, TM Eye provide tracing and monitoring services to identify the owners and operators of internet sites retailing illegal products to provide evidence for their removal and/or prosecution.
TM EYE was tasked to look into the illegal sale of counterfeit goods and the unauthorised sale of ‘grey market’ goods via the internet for Pandora Jewellery UK Ltd.
Numbers were dramatically reduced from over 120,000 items a day to below 7,000.
Similar reductions have been managed for other Brand Owners.
A New Initiative Is Underway…
• Each internet seller of counterfeit goods identified will be targeted.
• Test purchases will be carried out to gain a representative sample of their goods.
• After examination a cease and desist letter will be sent to the seller with a demand for costs payable to the brand holder.
Our experience has shown that this will lead to a significant reduction in offending and cut costs to the client.
- Carry out covert intelligence visits to markets, shops and other suppliers of counterfeit goods.
- Undertake surveillance on suspects to identify storage facilities, associates and criminal proceeds.
- Prepare intelligence and evidential cases for law enforcement.
- Carry out evidential test purchases.
- Assist law enforcement in carrying out market raids and searches of storage facilities.
- Prepare criminal and civil cases for court.
- Prosecute in the criminal courts privately, negating the need for client to do so.
- Give expert evidence in court.
HM Customs Enforcement
- File and manage Customs applications for clients.
- Assist Customs in identifying counterfeit goods.
- Prepare and manage letters of action for Customs seizures.
- Recover all costs for our clients.
- Complete and deliver ‘Cease and Desist’ letters where necessary.
- Investigate and pro-actively target organised criminal networks involved in importing counterfeit goods.
- Attend Postal Hub to assist UKBA in detaining goods for our Brand Owners. Completion of all detention notices, management of consignee enquiries, Completion of intelligence profile for UKBA and IPO
Secure Transportation and Destruction:
TM EYE uses a FACT accredited storage and destruction facility, to destroy counterfeit goods that have been seized and authorised for disposal. Secure transportation is also provided. Destruction of goods is arranged making use of industrial shredders and is evidenced for integrity, which is forwarded to Brand Owners and relevant law enforcement agencies.