UK retailer pays damages over fake Fred Perry shirts

UK discount retail chain TJ Hughes has agreed to pay unspecified damages to fashion brand Fred Perry after admitting it sold thousands of counterfeit copies of its iconic polo shirts.

The Liverpool-headquartered company admitted selling around 2,500 polo shirts that infringed Fred Perry trademarks either through its online store or bricks and mortar shops, and has agreed to pay unspecified damages and hand over 755 unsold items.

The case is somewhat unusual as it involved a well-known retail chain. Most of this type of counterfeiting activity is carried out by small-scale traders and via online marketplaces and social media channels.

TJ Hughes has yet to comment on how the counterfeits – which bore the Fred Perry brand name and distinctive laurel wreath logo – came to be on sale through its retail channels.

“The laurel wreath is more than a logo to us – it’s a badge of honour that has always sat over the heart of everybody who wears a Fred Perry Shirt, and we will always protect it,” said Fred Perry in a statement.

“We will not hesitate to enforce our intellectual property rights when they are infringed, and we will continue to take action against the sellers and manufacturers of counterfeit versions of our garments.”

This isn’t the first time that Fred Perry has won a pay-off from a retailer over counterfeiting. Five years ago, the company settled a dispute with online fashion group over the sale of trademark-infringing clothing, and a little earlier it also came to a similar arrangement with online seller In both cases the retailer claimed they did not know the items on sale were fake.

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