The national trading standards e Crime team based in York have issued a warning to Olympic fans after launching an investigation into the supply of ‘fake’ medals from an internet auction site.
The medals, which cost up to £29 each, bear unauthorised copies of the five rings logos and are mocked up to resemble the real thing.
Colin Rumford from the eCrime Team said:
“This is a cynical attempt to exploit consumers and defraud legitimate business.
"Whilst no one is likely to be fooled into believing they are the genuine item the price being charged represents ridiculously poor value for money.
"This is a blatant breach of the intellectual property rights of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and undermines the investment that legitimate businesses have contributed to making the games a success.”
Councillor Dafydd Williams, Cabinet member for Crime and Stronger Communities said:
“ We would urge anyone buying such products on the internet to be wary and if they have any concerns to get in touch with the Trading Standards eCrime Team. “
The Olympic brand is protected under copyright, design right, passing off and trade descriptions legislation. Protection for these valuable rights is not new, the Olympic Symbol (Protection) Act 1995 provided for a Olympic Association Right which may be infringed when the Olympic Symbol, the word Olympic or similar words are used without authorisation in the course of trade.
A significant proportion of staging the Olympics is being met by sponsorship, the IOC and their national representatives, the London Organising Committee of the Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) vigorously defend their intellectual property against unauthorised use.