Innovation First could 'exit' toy trade unless things change.
Toy companies are urging the Government to help them spot and cull counterfeit products.
Firms argue that it currently takes too long to hold knock-off manufacturers, distributors and retailers accountable, with millions of counterfeit toys on the market taking a heavy toll on their businesses.
“There needs to be a fast track system,” Wow Stuff CEO Richard North told ToyNews. “It’s a crying shame that you can walk into shopping malls and shop for counterfeits online so easily, even when you can prove the IP ownership or rights. Usually the goods are not taken off sale until past the prime selling period, allowing the criminals to profit at honest retailers’ expense.”
David Hedley Jones, Rubik’s senior VP of global licensing and legal, at Seven Towns, added: “The battle against the Chinese manufacturers is the big thing. It’s constant. I might stop 15 companies tomorrow but a few days later, another 15 will come up. It’s a never-ending battle.
“My dream would be to have a Chinese customs authority that stops the exports if they could.”
Innovation First International has an anti-counterfeit team that works with brand owners, the law and government agencies, as well as a hotline that the public can call to report knock-off toys. But it believes retailers should also be held accountable.
The company’s president and CEO Tony Norman is calling for other companies to stand up with them. He commented: “It’s the only way to change the industry. If it does not change, we will move our business to an industry that respects intellectual property.”
Trading Standards Institute has also been urging the Government to reinstate a counterfeit product system. CEO Ron Gainsford told ToyNews: “One of the biggest problems is the absence of data.”
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