Featuring updates from Cisco Systems, Certified Gold Exchange, Lululemon Athletica, Clark's and Bitzer.
The chief executive of a company accused of counterfeiting products made by networking company Cisco Systems
has been jailed for 37 months and fined $700,000. ConnectZone.com and its owner Daniel Oberholtzer conspired with Chinese company Shenzhen Xiewei Electronic to produce the fake goods, which were shipped to the US with labels indicating they were samples. All told, four men have been charged in the case. Lance Wilder was convicted in April following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing, while Edward Vales was sentenced in June to two years' probation and five months' home confinement. Chinese co-conspirator Mao Ming, who sometimes goes under the name Bob Mao, remains at large, according to the federal authorities. The judge overseeing the trials noted that the sentences delivered should "send a message to anyone else thinking about being involved in counterfeit goods."
Precious metal trader Certified Gold Exchange
(CGE) has warned US gold dealers to be wary of gold scams after a New York gold dealer was unable to prove conclusively that gold bullion presented to him by a customer was fake. A company spokesperson, Janet Jones, said that "when we reach a point where gold dealers themselves don’t know if a piece of metal is gold or not, it’s time to innovate," although she stressed there have been no recorded incidents of the CGE shipping or accepting counterfeit gold.
Canada's Lululemon Athletica
has filed a lawsuit in an Illinois federal court against China-based counterfeiters selling fake versions of its yoga-inspired clothing products online. The complaint alleges that the company is facing "significant" levels of counterfeiting, with hundreds of websites selling cheap, low-quality imitations of its products. Lululemon wants to shut down the sites selling the knock-offs, block the owners from setting up more online outlets, and claims substantial damages. Last year the company was awarded $23m in a similar lawsuit in the US, although these judgments are often symbolic as the individuals behind the offending sites are hard to trace.
Nine men have been arrested in an operation to bust a criminal operation counterfeiting Clarks
shoes in Jamaica. The gang have been linked to a massive trade in counterfeit Clarks in Jamaica where it is estimated millions of dollars-worth of fake shoes have been produced over a two-year period. Detective Superintendent Carl Berry said the latest operation uncovered counterfeit goods valued at almost JMD600m ($5m), with the latest seizure yielding two truckloads of shoes along with bootleg rum, fake medicines and pirated CDs and DVDs. Clarks have become a must-have brand for people in Jamaica since becoming favoured by the country's reggae and rap stars.
Refrigeration company Bitzer
is taking a more proactive approach to dealing with counterfeiters, after seeing an increase in the amounts of fake copies of its products being sold worldwide. The knock-offs are especially dangerous as poor quality refrigeration equipment can pose health risks to consumers, it says. "Aside from safety, the issue of performance clearly takes centre stage, as it plays a key role in the customer’s purchasing decision." Bitzer wrote in a statement in which it warned about fake compressors, pressure vessels, spare parts and refrigerants.The company said it intends to step up monitoring activities in the marketplace as well as pursue legal claims against those who infringe its trademarks.