Page last updated at 07:52 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 08:52 UK

Laws protect iconic street signs

Piccadilly street sign
The signs were created by renowned British designer Sir Misha Black

Counterfeiters producing copies of central London's world famous street signs could now face prosecution.

Westminster Council has secured the copyright to the iconic red and black signs created by the late design guru Sir Misha Black in the 1960s.

All products displaying the street name plates must now be licensed.

Anyone caught trading illegally could be fined up to 5,000, with all money generated from copyright infringement being put into council services.

Anyone reproducing the street name plates must apply for a licence before the end of the month.

Westminster Council's Martin Low said: "Westminster's street signs are an integral part of London life and very popular with the millions of visitors that the city hosts every year.

"In buying the copyright, we felt we needed to retain an element of control over the signs to maintain Westminster's image as a world class tourist destination."

Council officers will be checking for any breaches of copyright and will report any infringements to the council's legal department.

The signs will be used in official council publications to help advertise Westminster's visitor attractions.

Council praised on street signs
05 Jul 07 |  London

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