Federation Against Software Theft welcomes increased investment in PIPCU | FAST

Federation Against Software Theft welcomes increased investment in PIPCU

City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit to gain an additional £3 million in funding

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has welcomed the news that the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has received an additional £3million in funding, which will enable it to continue to operate until 2017.

PIPCU, which deals exclusively with investigating criminal digital piracy and counterfeited goods (IP crime), was set up in 2013 with the intention to "dismantle and disrupt" criminal activity relating to intellectual property theft.

The new funding will come from the budget of the Intellectual Property Office - which is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Alex Hilton, FAST’s Chief Executive, said: “For too long, individuals that perpetrate IP crime on a commercial scale have been able to profit from the Intellectual Property of others. By regular and sustained action on the ground, PIPCU has made headway in the fight against IP theft, bursting the bubble of these rogues.”

The figures speak for themselves. Since its inception, PIPCU has been successful in:

  • suspending 2,359 internet domain names - replacing pages with a City of London Police notice
  • seizing more than £1.29m worth of fake goods
  • diverting five million visits from copyright infringing websites to a PIPCU holding page
  • setting up an infringing website list (IWL) that acts as a database of sites deemed to be breaking copyright law.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel at the Federation Against Software Theft, added: “FAST supports PIPCU in its enforcement activities as a dedicated investigative IP crime unit which is a very valuable asset to the software industry. It has teeth and can trace illicit sellers to ensure that genuine software manufacturers can compete on a level playing field. This in turn fosters growth in the software industry and instils confidence that criminal activities will be taken seriously and properly investigated.

“The future prosperity of computing is paramount to the broader economy, especially considering the rise of cloud computing, and, as such, it’s vital that that these environments are cyber-crime free,” he added.

PIPCU is based within the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, the National Lead Force for Fraud. It is a specialist police unit dedicated to protecting the UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content from intellectual property crime.