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Press Review on Counterfeiting (August 2018)

Dubai

In the first half of 2018, Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) closed 4,879 social media accounts and 30 websites involved in the sale of counterfeit goods. This initiative is part of the efforts of the Dubai authorities to participate in the protection of trademarks (Golfnews.com, 5 August 2018).

Borneo

Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) office made the largest seizure of counterfeit goods of the year in Sibu (250,000 inhabitants). 196 units of leather goods were confiscated. The raids were made following complaints by the trademark owners. Offenders risk a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to 30,000 ringgits (18,000 euros) per counterfeit merchandise (Theborneopost, August 29, 2018).

France

A joint operation of the French Customs and National Police led on July 5, 2018, allowed the seizure of 60,000 counterfeit articles flanked by sports and luxury brands (20minutes.fr, 20 August 2018). A few days later, in Calais, customs seized 12,000 counterfeit goods (Lavoixdunord.fr, 15 August 2018). In both cases, the products came from Great Britain.

South Africa

Several individuals appeared before the Hartswater’s Magistrate’s Court for counterfeiting. Two of them were released on bail respectively of 10,000 (600 euros) and 5,000 rands (300 euros) (Timeslive.co.za, 18 July 2018).

United Kingdom, England

In Hereford, England, a man was sentenced to twenty-five months in prison for storing and selling counterfeit cigarettes. 11,500 packages of counterfeit cigarettes were seized following an investigation in November 2016, for an estimated value of £133,000 (€147.000) (Herefordtimes.com, August 6, 2018).

United Kingdom, Wales

The Swansea Crown Court sentenced two men for trafficking counterfeit clothes, shoes, electric items, and cosmetics. The first, who is known as a repeat offender, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, while the second was sentenced to six months in jail. However, both benefit from a two-year suspension. Still, they will also have to complete unpaid work. The court said the message had to go out to anyone involved in selling counterfeit goods that it was a serious offense that carried custodial sentences (WalesOnline, July 23, 2018).

United States, New York

  • The New York authorities announced that they had arrested about 20 individuals suspected of belonging to a large-scale smuggling of counterfeit goods. The goods in question, originating in China, consisted mainly of products encroaching on the luxury goods industry. They were estimated at $ 450 million, assuming that the counterfeits were sold at the price of authentic goods. The survey seems to have established the role of everyone in the network, with tasks being divided between the import, storage, and distribution of products. (Justice.gov, August 16, 2018).
  • In New York, five individuals are being prosecuted for importing hundreds of thousands of Nike Air Jordans branded sports shoes from China for an estimated $ 70 million. The goods arrived in the United States without bearing any trademark. The trademark was affixed in New York. Subsequently, the shoes were stored in several storage units and warehouses in New York and elsewhere. The counterfeit goods sold in the US market. The indictment states that between January 2016 and July 2018, the alleged counterfeiters imported shipping containers holding an estimated more than 380,000 pairs of sneakers from China. Each defendant faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison (Justive.gov, August 7, 2018).

United States, Idaho

In Idaho, a dozen individuals have been charged with two federal investigations involving the large-scale manufacture and sale of counterfeit cell phones and the distribution of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. The investigation, lasting four years, would have established that the phones would have manufactured in Hong Kong before being repackaged in Idaho to ultimately be offered for sale on Amazon and eBay (wptv.com, 23 August 2018).

United States, California

In California, an individual who sold, on eBay, counterfeit airbags from China pleaded guilty. Several brands were concerned: Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercury, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen. In addition to a prison sentence, he could also be fined up to $ 2 million. His sentence was set for 12 December. Persons with airbags installed in a repair shop are required to make themselves known to the manufacturer for an inspection (Oregonlive.com,  August 22, 2018).

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