Rovio launches Angry Birds anti-counterfeiting toy programme

Teams up with IP Crime Unit to prevent fake toys from hitting the market.
Publish date:

Those famous Birds are getting Angry at fake toys.

Angry Birds creator Rovio has green-lit an operation that could prevent millions of pounds worth of fake toys from entering the market.

It has hired the UK-based IP Crime Unit, which will work with customs, police and Trading Standards, to launch a Europe-wide anti-counterfeiting programme with immediate effect.

The IP Crime Unit works with a variety of major brand holders including Calvin Klein, L’Oreal, Manchester City FC, Canada Goose, Lancome and Fred Perry among others.

The company claims to have seized around £250 million worth of counterfeit products to date. 

IP Crime Unit director Tim Mascall explained to ToyNews: "We work very closely with the law enforcement community across Europe and, importantly, are a partner agency of the Police National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), with whom we share and pool criminal intelligence relating to IP Crime. 

"By cooperating in this way we are able to focus our efforts on identifying the Organised Crime Groups involved at the higher levels of product counterfeiting, which invariably spill over into different areas of serious and organised criminality," he said.

Mascall got in touch with ToyNews after reading our Counterfeit toys: How firms are fighting the fakes special feature in the summer (ToyNews, August 2012).

He says he wants to encourage more companies in the toy industry to take a harder stance against the counterfeiters. 

The IP Crime Unit's Tim Mascall (right) wants to work closer with the toy industry, taking on counterfeiters who target big brands such as Angry Birds

"I have been managing anti-counterfeiting programmes for some of the world’s biggest brands for almost 25 years, and the toy industry has always struck me as one of the sectors that has a very significant counterfeiting problem, but has never had a unified approach to addressing it," he added. 

"As well as the obvious detrimental effects of counterfeiting – such as lost revenue, damage to reputation, etc – with toys there is always the insidious issue of the potential for injury to a child from a poorly made fake toy.

"We are currently working with the NFIB, looking at ways to engage with the toy industry and bring the key players together to take on the counterfeiters more effectively.

"We would like to reach out to the industry and offer our support," Mascall concluded.

IP Crime Unit: 0161 428 2288

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