Web regulator Nominet says that over 8,500 websites have been successfully shut down in the past three years on the grounds of intellectual property infringement, following a partnership with The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Nominet, which acts as the UK’s central registry to all websites with a UK domain name (such as .co.uk), joined forces with PIPCU in September 2013, claiming that their partnership since then can be held accountable for 93 per cent of all fraudulent website suspensions.

8,774 websites in total have been pulled down since PIPCU’s launch, the vast majority of which were websites selling counterfeit sportswear, trainers, jewellery, electrical and fashion goods – many of which were remarkably similar to their branded inspirations.

Russell Haworth, chief executive of Nominet, said: “Nominet is committed to ensuring .UK is a safe and trusted space and a key driver of the UK digital economy.

“Our partnership with PIPCU has enabled us to make great steps in achieving that goal.”

Minister for intellectual property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, said: “For too long counterfeiters have exploited the size and anonymity of the web.

“The Government, PIPCU and our other partners are fighting back, helping to systematically shut down illicit online trade”.

Each site suspended by Nominet and PIPCU’s copyright crackdown has been identified by referrals from brands, stakeholders, other law enforcement agencies and the public, an example of taking active steps to protect your intellectual property through regular online searches.