201903.13

Press review on counterfeiting (March 2019)

Africa

According to Ecofin, sub-Saharan Africa loses $10 billion because of counterfeit tobacco (agenceecofin.com, 4 Feb. 2019).


Algeria

A jeweler craftsman from Ath Yenni reveals his concern over counterfeit jewelry from China (depechedekabylie.com, 12 Feb. 2019).


Brexit

Drug manufacturers are worried. In the event of a Brexit without an agreement, the British could not benefit from the European anti-counterfeiting system  (reuters.com, 7 Feb. 2019).


Dominican Republic

The law 17-19 on the eradication of illegal trade, contraband, and counterfeit medicines, hydrocarbons, alcohol, and its derivatives, as well as tobacco and its derivatives, has been promulgated (cdn.com.do).


France

A site specializing in two-wheeled vehicles alerts on the quality and safety of certain counterfeiting products (including helmets) with demonstrative tests to support its assertion, (3bikes.fr, 20 Feb. 2019).

As we know, counterfeiting must be fought also with the view of protecting the environment. “Garfield” goods (the famous orange cat) regularly strand on the coasts of Brittany. Their origin is not established. The operator of the intellectual property rights attached to the orange cat believes it could be counterfeit goods (lejsl.com, 19 Feb. 2019).

Two defendants were sentenced for having sold or attempted to sell counterfeit products of the Italian brand Diesel, imported from Morocco: six months’ suspended imprisonment, and a customs fine of 122,100 euros (lanouvellerepublique.fr, 11 Feb. 2019).

One person was arrested for selling counterfeit cigarettes in front of a supermarket. The goods were seized by the customs (leprogres.fr, 18 Feb. 2019).

A man bought counterfeit soccer jerseys on a Chinese website for 13 euros. He sold them on the French site “Le Bon Coin” at 35 euros, about 60% cheaper than the average price for a genuine one. According to the investigators, the man had bought about 180 jerseys for a net profit of nearly 4,000 euros. He was sentenced to three months suspended sentence and a fine of 1,200 euros (20minutes.fr, 20 Feb. 2019).

In criminal proceedings relating to two homicides caused by a traffic accident, the defendants counter that the brakes, which were no longer responding, were counterfeit products. The article does not specify if this argument has been verified by the forensic expert (sudinfo.be, 26 Feb. 2019).


India

Casio is conducting awareness campaigns against counterfeiting in India with a particular focus on health and the environment (theweek.in, 22 Feb. 2019).

CenturyPly, the market leader in plywood and decorative veneer, initiated a raid against counterfeiters  (indiablooms.com, 28 Feb. 2019).


Ireland

Following a police operation, a substantial amount of counterfeit goods were seized. No arrests were made during the search and investigations are ongoing (irishexaminer.com, 11 Feb. 2019).


Italy

The Italian authorities arrested three suspects who planned to sell 11,000 bottles of counterfeit wine. These bottles, labeled as vintages, were filled with mediocre wine (winespectator.com, 15 Feb. 2019).


Japan

To become a sommelier, you must deserve it! The Japan Sommelier Association has announced that counterfeit sommelier pins are being sold online. The association systematically sues sellers and impostors (neatpour.com).


Kenya

A survey conducted by the anti-counterfeiting agency shows that 70% of Kenyans have bought fake products and some have done so knowingly. Electronic products, pharmaceuticals, and alcoholic beverages are the most affected categories of products (standardmedia.co.ke, 11 Feb. 2019; kenyans.co.ke, 12 Feb. 2019).

In Mombasa, authorities destroyed counterfeit food, cosmetics and shoes at a Mombasa cement plant (nation.co.ke, 28 Feb. 2019).


New Guinea

Authorities destroyed a stock of counterfeit detergents (thenational.com.pg, 8 Mar. 2019).


Oman

Following the seizure of more than 3,000 bottles of counterfeit detergent, the defendants were sentenced to jail and fines (timesofoman.com, 27 Feb. 2019).


Philippines

In Quezon City, police seized about 100 pairs of counterfeit shoes that were sold online and in some outlets (newsinfo.inquirer.net, 5 Feb. 2019).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Republic of the Philippines has ordered the closure of Geramil Trading, a company that could be responsible for selling counterfeit anti-rabies vaccines (precisionvaccinations.com, 4 Feb. 2019; news.abs-cbn.com, 3 Feb. 2019; philstar.com, 2 Feb. 2019).

Nearly 7 million counterfeit cigarettes were seized by security forces during two simultaneous operations in Davao. A man has been arrested (sunstar.com.ph, 20 Feb. 2019).


Russia

Russian industry reportedly used counterfeit materials for aircraft manufacturing and repair between 2011 and 2018. Criminal proceedings are ongoing (defence-blog.com, 4 Feb. 2019).


Taiwan

A man was arrested in possession of more than 6,000 Nintendo Amiibo playing cards, counterfeits from China. These cards were sold online with collectible figurines (taiwannews.com.tw, 12 Feb. 2019).


Tunisia

Tunisian handicrafts claim that illegitimate trade, including counterfeiting, in the handicraft sector, cause the State to lose between 80 and 90 million dinars a year, a loss estimated at 2.5% of the total. GDP per annum (Rtci.tn, 21 Feb. 2019; .leconomistemaghrebin.com, 21 Fev. 2019).

Customs seized around 2800 counterfeit garments (tunisienumerique.com, 21 Feb. 2019).


Uganda

In Kampala, a Chinese national involved in the counterfeiting of Hewlett Packard brand products was sentenced. Authorities had seized nearly 4,000 boxes and more than 700 boxes of toners on which the HP mark had been affixed. The destruction of counterfeits has been ordered (newvision.co.ug, 26 Feb. 2019).


United Arab Emirates

Authorities seized 30,000 counterfeit electronic products (lithium-ion batteries, AC adapters, chargers, keyboards, hard drives, and LCDs). The raids took place in a warehouse and store in Sharjah (mepmiddleeast.com, 27 Feb. 2019).


United Kingdom

On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, the British police alert on the risks associated with the purchase of counterfeit cosmetics. This alert comes a few weeks after the police seized more than 500 bottles of counterfeit perfumes, some of which are dangerous to health. Authorities also warn about the risks of using counterfeit electronic products (iflscience.com, 11 Feb. 2019; foxnews.com, 12 Feb. 2019).

Members of a criminal group have been sentenced to imprisonment or suspended sentences as well as community service for their involvement in the production and online sale of counterfeit goods (clothing containing, inter alia, Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, Motorhead, Ramones, Beyonce, 5 Seconds of Summer, Harry Potter, Ed Sheeran and Nirvana). The lifestyle of the defendants may have aroused suspicions (thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, 2 Feb. 2019).

In response to a consumer complaint, Newcastle authorities seized approximately 2,000 counterfeit items in a supermarket, including toys, pillows, and cushions. The dangerousness of these counterfeits is established (chroniclelive.co.uk, 12 Feb. 2019).


United States

A businessman from New Orleans pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit goods. At first, authorities had inspected a suspicious package sent to the defendant on the premises of DHL Express. Authorities then discovered that the accused was selling counterfeit goods bearing Nike, True Religion, Rock Revival, Michael Kors, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Polo, Timberland, New Era, Nike, Adidas, Dolce & Gabbana, Mitchell & Ness, and North Face. If found guilty, the accused may be condemned to a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to USD 2,000,000, and a probationary release of up to three years after incarceration (fox8live.com, 13 Fev. 2019; nola.com, 13 Feb. 2019).

In the port of Pembina, customs intercepted cargo from Canada and discovered Apple-branded counterfeit phones (grandforksherald.com, 27 Feb. 2019).

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York gave grounds to the jeweler David Yurman, who sued 31 individuals and legal entities for trademark and design infringement. The defendants sold the counterfeits on the Internet. In addition to the usual permanent injunction prohibiting defendants from manufacturing, distributing, advertising and selling David Yurman’s products, the court awarded him $ 1.6 million in compensation. (retaildive.com, 4 Feb. 2019).

In Pennsylvania, a man was arrested while trying to sell counterfeit goods. The man had already been sentenced in 2005 for similar facts (delawarebusinessnow.com, 4 Feb. 2019).

Authorities are investigating several US and foreign companies accused of manufacturing or distributing counterfeit lighters of the French brand “Bic”, exported from China to America. The production capacity of one of the pursued companies could be 700 million lighters per year, while the BIC plant in Connecticut produces about 1 million lighters per day (law.com, 14 Feb. 2019).

Brownsville man pleaded guilty to buying counterfeit drugs alleged to treat erectile dysfunction (Viagra brand), from India and Singapore, and selling them to people who could not get a medical prescription. The accused made offers to sell the counterfeit drugs on the Internet (several Facebook pages, Craigslist, and La Pulga Online). The investigators seized several parcels intended for the accused, photographed him in the process of receiving these parcels, searched his Internet pages and, finally, carried out a test purchase. The defendant faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $ 10,000 (themonitor.com, 6 Feb. 2019).

Spin Master, Inc. is suing 47 individuals and/or legal entities based in China using Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com, and DHGate.com market places to sell counterfeit toys (bloomberglaw.com, 7 Feb. 2019).

A hospital warns about the existence of counterfeit child car seats. These car seats are sold online on Amazon and Walmart. The hospital says the seats are made from materials that are not shock-resistant for which they are supposed to be designed (turnto10.com, 25 Feb. 2019).

A large police operation was organized to proceed with the removal of counterfeit goods bearing the NBA brands. In total, more than 1500 counterfeit goods were seized (wtkr.com, 20 Feb. 2019).

A Chinese citizen was sentenced to four and a half years of imprisonment for having imported and sold counterfeit computer equipment in the United States for nearly a decade. The counterfeited brands are the following: Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Intel were affixed (securingindustry.com, 19 Feb. 2019).

Nearly two hundred counterfeit watches (Michael Kors, Rolex, Piguet, Hublot, and Nike) were intercepted at the JFK airport. The cargo came from Hong Kong (nbcnewyork.com, 11 Feb. 2019).

Counterfeit airbags were discovered during a fatal accident. According to expert opinion, given the circumstances of the accident, the victim would not have lost her life if the airbag in question had not been a counterfeit product. The history of the vehicle -a used vehicle- showed that it had previously been involved in an accident that had triggered the original airbag. The latter would, in all likelihood, have been replaced by a counterfeit one (cbslocal.com, 25 Feb. 2019).

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