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Dont' buy fake

PUBLISHED: 14:00 12 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

FOOTBALL club officials and trading standards chiefs today joined up to declare war on counterfeiters who may be preying on Tractor Boys and Girls this Christmas.

FOOTBALL club officials and trading standards chiefs today joined up to declare war on counterfeiters who may be preying on Tractor Boys and Girls this Christmas.

Ipswich Town's merchandising department is under constant attack from cheap fakes – especially in the run-up to Christmas.

"It is the time when we see the problem at its worst," said Ipswich Town retail manager, Michael Brooks.

"It is always there – people trying to sell fake souvenirs. But at this time of the year it is a particular concern as people look for stocking fillers.

"We crack down on unofficial sellers outside the ground from time to time in joint operations with Suffolk Trading Standards and sometimes with officials from other football clubs.

"We had an especially successful crackdown before the Manchester United match last season."

Mr Brooks said fake goods were those with Ipswich Town logos or motifs that had been produced without a licence from the club.

"We have our own brand, Punch, which has a reputation for quality and value. In addition to that we also licence our logo for some other products produced by other manufacturers.

"But there is a lot of merchandise produced without licences – and we do help trading standards to prosecute in those cases," he said.

A consignment of fake merchandise was recently seized at Norwich Airport, but he is aware that much has slipped through.

"Anything with our badge or an image of the Suffolk Punch horse and a football is covered by copyright," said Mr Brooks.

"The name Ipswich isn't covered by copyright because it could be referring to the town itself and not the football club. There are grey areas surrounding that, but many fakes are quite clear," he added.

A batch of "Friendship scarves" – with both Ipswich and Inter Milan colours – were seized before the home match last month.

Although they did not have either the Ipswich or Inter Milan crests on them, they were considered fakes because they had the words "UEFA Cup" printed on them – and that is a registered trade mark.


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