201901.07

Press Review on Counterfeiting (December 2018)

Argentina

FMC QUIMICA S.A. has reported having detected in Santa Fe, Córdoba and Salta counterfeit of its insecticide “Coragen” (agrofy.com.ar, 12 Dec. 2018).

Australia

Toyota counterfeit auto parts have been seized, including brake pads that do not meet the safety requirements. A Toyota employee said: “If you buy online and it’s not from an authorized dealer, you have a 35% chance of buying a counterfeit product” (wardsauto.com, 11 Dec. 2018).

China

BIC files trademark infringement complaint against manufacturers of counterfeit lighters in China (law.com, 6 Dec. 2018).
Hasbro won a criminal case against individuals accused of counterfeiting Transformers toys  (tformers.com, 26 Dec. 2018).
After a one-year investigation, the Chinese authorities reportedly destroyed counterfeit shoe stocks worth $ 87.5 million: nine production lines, 500,000 pairs of branded shoes Converse and Vans (bleacherreport.com, 6 Dec. 2018; china.org.cn, 5 Dec. 2018; vladtv.com, 7 Dec. 2018).

Dominican Republic

Dominican police dismantled a clandestine laboratory used to make counterfeit alcoholic beverages. Several individuals have been arrested (eldia.com.do, 21 Dec. 2018).

Irlande

In Monaghan County, counterfeit auto parts for the Toyota Land Cruiser have been seized. The value of the goods would be evaluated at 500,000 euros (agriland.ie, 19 Dec. 2018).

Jamaica

$9 million worth of counterfeit goods were seized in downtown Kingston (sports gear, Nike shoes, and jerseys, Converse, Adidas, Puma) (jamaica-gleaner.com, 18 Dec. 2018; loopjamaica.com, 19 Dec. 2018).

Nigeria

Hewlett Packard (HP) is working with the Nigerian police to fight against counterfeit (thisdaylive.com, 13 Dec. 2018).

The Philippines

The Director of the Philippines Intellectual Property Office, Mrs. Joséphine Rima Santiago, wants e-commerce platforms to implement an intellectual property policy to be able to account for the authenticity of the merchandise sold on their sites. An amendment to the Intellectual Property Code could go in that direction. Consultations are ongoing, involving Shopee, Lazada, the Intellectual Property Office and parliamentarians (business.mb.com.ph, 4 Dec. 2018).


Singapore

Officers from the Criminal Investigation and Customs Department of Singapore conducted a joint operation. More than 400 counterfeit items, including perfumes, sunglasses, and purses, were seized during this raid. One person was arrested for importing and detaining counterfeit goods. Persons found guilty of importing, possessing or distributing falsely branded products for commercial purposes may be fined up to US$ 100,000 or imprisoned up to US$ 100,000. five years (straitstimes.com, 21 Dec. 2018; stomp.straitstimes.com, 24 Dec. 2018).

South Africa

Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said he was concerned about counterfeit factories operating in the city of Johannesburg: “I was surprised to find out that the makeshift drug lab in Fordsburg was masquerading as an egg factory. In just two years, JMPD has been part of law enforcement efforts that have uncovered and confiscated counterfeit goods worth a street value of R250 million” (iol.co.za, 18 Dec. 2018).

South Korea

The Lazada Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korean Intellectual Property Protection Agency (KOIPA), promising to remove Korean counterfeit goods on its platform (cosmeticsdesign-asia.com, 10 Dec. 2018; thedrum.com, 30 Nov. 2018).

Spain

In Málaga, Granada, Almería, and Cadiz, as part of Operation PINDUS, the Civil Guard seized more than 31,000 counterfeit items (mostly sportswear). Two individuals have been arrested and 28 others are being investigated for offenses related to industrial property, money laundering, and concealed work. Brand owners claim more than 600,000 euros (lavanguardia.com, 21 Dec. 2018; roquetas.ideal.es, 21 Dec. 2018).
Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Mr. Reyes Maroto, claims losses of EUR 1775 million against Spanish trademarks and patents. He estimates that counterfeiting is putting 67,000 jobs at risk and cutting tax revenues by 15,000 million euros (elpais.com, 17 Dec. 2018; lavanguardia.com, 11 Dec. 2018; cincodias.elpais.com, 12 Dec. 2018).
In Ponferrada, a man who was selling counterfeit goods (phone accessories), in a state of recidivism, was arrested. Two accomplices are under investigation (lanuevacronica.com, 3 Dec. 2018).

Thailand

In Patong, police officers went to shops near Patong Beach and Soi Bangla. 468 counterfeit items were seized in 11 stores. Not only were counterfeit goods seized, but also the fruits of laundering (houses, land, and cars). Authorities also carried out arrests (thethaiger.com, 18 Dec. 2018; thethaiger.com, 14 Dec. 2018).

Turkey

Before the New Year celebrations, the Turkish police conducted operations against the smuggling and counterfeiting of counterfeit drinks. More than 6,500 bottles were seized nationwide, including 1,535 liters of counterfeit beverages. 168 suspects were arrested (dailysabah.com, 20 Dec. 2018).

Ukraine

Ukraine is a grain-producing country that feeds people in European markets and beyond. Currently, Ukraine consumes about 100,000 tons of pesticides each year. According to the United Nations, such demand inevitably attracts criminals and the trafficking of counterfeit goods is the most urgent problem (unenvironment.org, 21 Dec. 2018).

United Kingdom

As New Year’s Eve approaches, authorities have called for vigilance after many bottles of counterfeit vodka have been seized (cornwalllive.com, 30 Dec. 2018).
Authorities warn against the counterfeiting of dolls “L.O.L Surprise!”, whose dangerousness and toxicity are proven (gainsboroughstandard.co.uk, 10 Dec. 2018).
In Rugeley, two people were sentenced to pay more than £ 500 in fines and to pay fees for the sale of counterfeit cigarettes (staffordshirenewsroom.co.uk, 19 Dec. 2018).
Authorities seized thousands of counterfeit goods designed in Manchester. A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: “Fake designer goods, including counterfeit jewelry, handbags, clothing, and footwear, were seized in raids of a number of commercial units in the city. We believe it is possible some of these counterfeit goods could have been destined for sale in Cumbria in the run-up to Christmas. Counterfeit goods are poor quality at best and dangerous at worst. Cumbria Trading Standards would advise people to buy goods from places you know, from reputable retailers.” (nwemail.co.uk, 14 Dec. 2018).
In Thurrock, more than 67,000 cigarettes were seized thanks to the intervention of sniffer dogs (maldonandburnhamstandard.co.uk, 21 Dec. 2018).
As the holiday season approaches, East Midlands airport authorities warn of the risk of counterfeiting, stating that several thousand illicit goods have been seized (nottinghampost.com, 24 Dec. 2018; leicestermercury.co.uk, 24 Dec. 2018).
About 200,000 counterfeit cigarettes and 900,000 cans of beer, wine, and spirits were seized at Grantham  (granthamjournal.co.uk, 5 Dec. 2018).

The United States

Cannabis oil cartridge producers face counterfeiting (rollingstone.com, 5 Dec. 2018).
At the end of an undercover operation, Amazon has suspended at least twenty American booksellers for presumably shipping counterfeit books. Publishers Cengage, Elsevier, Macmillan Learning, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson have collaborated to create a website, stopcounterfeitbooks.com, to raise public awareness of the problem of counterfeit textbooks and academic textbooks (thebookseller.com, 17 Dec. 2018).

The United States, Arkansas

Media warns about the counterfeiting of bicycle helmets (kark.com, 24 Dec. 2018).

The United States, Massachusetts

A man from Revere was charged in federal court with importing and selling counterfeit sportswear items (Adidas, Nike, and NFL, among others) (itemlive.com, 5 Dec. 2018).
Police seized more than 6,000 counterfeit items at Lawrence’s flea market. Three individuals have been arrested (washingtontimes.com, 24 Dec. 2018; bostonglobe.com, 23 Dec. 2018).

The United States, New York, and New Jersey

More than 9,000 pairs of counterfeit Nike sneakers, valued at nearly $ 1.7 million (if the price was for genuine products), were seized by the customs. The goods came from China and should be sent to Chino, California (cbp.gov, 4 Dec. 2018; foxnews.com, 5 Dec. 2018; cnn.com, 5 Dec. 2018; securingindustry.com, 8 Dec. 2018).

The United States, Texas

On the occasion of the holidays, San Antonio authorities have called for the utmost vigilance regarding the risks of counterfeiting. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there have been over five hundred counterfeit arrests in 2018. About half a billion dollars worth of products has been seized. Counterfeiting costs the country hundreds of thousands of jobs. An officer recalls that a Helotes person was sentenced in August 2018 for manufacturing counterfeit handbags. The property she owned was sold for $ 270,000. The agent also points out the risks that counterfeit goods may have on health (news4sanantonio.com, 21 Dec. 2018).

Vietnam

The Vietnam Food Administration says that many counterfeit food supplements are offered on the Internet, including social networks (sggpnews.org.vn, 10 Dec. 2018).

World

The market for large size and compression wear faces counterfeiting (digitaljournal.com, 14 Dec. 2018).
Canada Goose struggles to get counterfeits removed on eBay (marketwatch.com, 3 Dec. 2018).

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