Counterfeit clippings: news in brief

News clippingsTwo convictions for counterfeiting offenses, three fake merchandise seizures in the US and a warning from a manufacturer of professional kitchen knives.

A 70-year-old Minnesota man - Paul Sellors - has been found guilty on four counts of using a forged and counterfeit seal to authenticate fraudulent legal documents, including an order to set trial by jury, an order of custody, and orders to reschedule a jury trial. He is due to be sentenced on November 6 and will remain in jail in the interim, according to court papers. He faces up to five years in prison for each offense.

Northern Ireland man Brendan Murphy has been jailed for four years for his part in the smuggling of millions of counterfeit tobacco products into the UK, depriving the country of nearly £2m ($3.1m) in tax revenues. He was caught unloading the cigarettes from a 40 ft trailer at a warehouse in Deptford in December 2011. Two other suspects - Justin McCormack and Catherine Joyce Henry, were also arrested in December 2011 but have since absconded and are believed to have returned to live in the Republic of Ireland.

The manufacturer of professional kitchen knife brand Global Knives - Japanese company Yoshikin - has issued a warning to its customers that fake versions of its products are being seen in increasing quantities in the market. Yoshikin's UK distributor Stephensons has issued a guideline to professional chefs and caterers who use its products to warn of the risks associated with using the fakes, which are made using cheap steel that will not hold an edge for more than a couple of uses and could break, placing users at risk of injury.

Federal and state agents in the USA seized approximately 60,000 counterfeit items from an Alabama flea market last weekend worth a total manufacturer's suggested retail price of more than $2m. The seized items - taken from 47 separate vendors - included counterfeit designer clothing, handbags, shoes, sportswear and electronics and infringed upon the trademarks of more than 30 different brands, such as Michael Kors, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Coach, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Football League (NFL).

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized $1.2m-worth of fake designer watches at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) late last month. The haul of 215 watches bore counterfeit Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Omega registered trademarks.  At around the sale time the agency reported it had seized 70,000 counterfeit items in Newark, New Jersey, including razor blades, toys, sunglasses, markers and batteries. The haul was worth around $3.9m at retail prices. Last year CBP and its US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized 22,848 shipments for intellectual property rights violations, for a total retail value of $1.26bn.

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