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Prestigious British Academy grant for Northumbria researcher

8th June 2022

A Northumbria University professor has been awarded £79,000 by the British Academy to continue her international research into how social media is fuelling the market for counterfeit goods - and to host a high-profile symposium.

In collaboration with the UK Intellectual Property Office, the funding will be used by Professor Xuemei Bian to deliver a research project entitled: Trademark Infringement and Social Media - A Collaborative Approach. The funding will also be used for a symposium exploring how research in this area is enabling knowledge exchange, building stronger connections and fostering collaboration opportunities between government officials, eminent scientists and business practitioners.

Professor Bian, from Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, said: “Various anti-counterfeiting measures, including diligent legal litigation, are often implemented to combat counterfeiting. Nevertheless, it continues to thrive, fuelled by the increasing volume of counterfeits on social media platforms. Almost 60,000 active accounts promoting counterfeits were discovered on Instagram in 2019, an increase of more than 171% compared to three years prior. With 45% of the world’s population now active social media users who would be likely to make purchases from social media networks, counterfeits on social media platforms pose a greater risk than ever.

“Our symposium in June, which will be used to stimulate debate and encourage wider collaboration for a workshop later in the year, at which findings from the research will be revealed and disseminated. Delegates will be from various academic disciplines (e.g., marketing, brand management, criminology, and public policy), social media platforms, commercial online platforms, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies.”


Symposium details

  • Trademark Infringement and Social Media Symposium
  • Date and time: 9.00am – 4.00pm 29th June 2022
  • Venue: CCE1, (CCE1 402), Faculty of Business and Law, Northumbria University


Speakers and guests from organisations including:

  • Universities both in the UK and abroad, such as University of Oxford
  • Online commercial platform,such as Alibaba
  • World Intellectual Property Organisation
  • The UK Intellectual Property Office
  • Intellectual property Law firm,such as Wanhuida Intellectual Property (China)
  • Research centres, such as Anti-counterfeiting Center for Product Protection (USA)
  • Not-for-profit organisation,such as Anti-counterfeiting Group (ACG)
  • Chartered Trading Standards
  • Business


For more information and to book a place contact Professor Xuemei Bian.


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