Solicitors in Essex

Campaign to take down domain names

Campaign to take down domain names

As news broke that a woman in America was caught selling $100,000 of stolen fake designer goods on Facebook, it was announced that the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) and City of London Police, Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have joined forces to protect consumers from online fakes.

The RogueBlock programme is a global, voluntary collaboration with international payment providers that targets online counterfeiters by terminating merchant accounts that illicit websites use to receive payments.

Since it was first set up, RogueBlock has terminated more than 5,300 individual merchant accounts, dismantling their ability to profit from an estimated 200,000 nefarious websites.

The collaboration with PIPCU expands the programme’s impact on counterfeiters by going after the websites themselves though PIPCU’s Operation Ashiko. As part of its partnership, PIPCU has agreed to consider each website submission from RogueBlock that fall within its jurisdiction, such as .uk domain names.

As a spokesman for PIPCU pointed out, Operation Ashiko aims to tackle the online trade in counterfeit goods by suspending websites committing intellectual property (IP) crime. So far, it has suspended more than 20,000 websites, which creates a safer environment for consumers to purchase genuine goods and disrupts the funding of criminals committing this crime.

The IACC agreed, with a spokesman saying that the collaboration sends a clear message to counterfeiters that their illegal actions will not be tolerated and represents the kind of multi-faceted approach that the “modern battlefield” of counterfeiting requires.

He added that the initiative advances PIPCU’s IP enforcement objectives by providing a streamlined source of counterfeit websites that are identified by rights holders and that includes all the information required to take action against them.

New mortgage approvals peaked in December, says Bank of England

New mortgage approvals hit a nine-month high in December 2016 – while re-mortgaging hit its highest level for eight years in the same month.

The news follows the publication of the Bank of England’s latest market data, which has revealed that there were 67,998 new mortgage approvals for residential property purchases in December, up from just 61,335 in August – representative of a 10.7 per cent rise.

Meanwhile, there were 47,721 re-mortgage approvals in December – the highest figure recorded in eight years.

Overall, the month gave way to 129,823 mortgage approvals, to the tune of £21billion.

However, some economists, including Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight, have forecast that house price growth is likely to slow to around three per cent in 2017.

He said that although data has revealed a “pick-up” in mortgage approvals and market activity in recent months, the market itself is “hardly racing ahead”.

Despite this, Jeffrey Duncombe, of Legal & General, said that “The Bank of England’s figures clearly show a strong end to the year for the mortgage market”.

He said that the data was “encouraging,” while Robert Gardner, of Nationwide, added that UK house price growth appeared “stable”.