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Seen and heard: Counterfeiting news in brief

Russia's Rudy Kurniawan, Swatch domain takedown, fake veterinary vaccines and hazardous deodorant clones.


Russian 'Rudy Kurniawan' is jailed and fined in France

Russian national Aleksandr Iugov has been sentenced to four years in prison by a court in Dijon – and fined €150,000 – for selling counterfeit Burgundy wines including fraudulent copies of famous Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) vintages, which can sell for as much as €10,000 a bottle, according to a report in French newspaper Le Monde. Iugov, who was dubbed the Russian Rudy Kurniawan in the media, has also been ordered to pay €650,000 in reparations to the wine producers, with around $300,000 of that total going to DRC.


Swatch succeeds in taking down infringing domain name

Swiss watch company Swatch has seized ownership of a domain name – swatchesgroup.com – that was registered to a party in China and was being used to sell luxury goods including watches. The party that owned the domain – known only as 'caizhen' – did not respond to Swatch's complaint to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Media Centre, which ruled that the similar to the Swiss company's registered trademarks was "too minor to dispel confusing similarity," according to a TBO article.


Duo held in Taiwan for selling falsified veterinary vaccines

Two men in Taiwan have been arrested on suspicion that they sold counterfeit vaccines intended to protect pigs from porcine circovirus (PCV), causing farmers to lose livestock. The falsified shots – which on analysis were discovered to be diluted vaccine – carried the trademark of a genuine product and were sold at a modest discount, with farmers duped by an "official looking certificate of authenticity", reports Focus Taiwan. The two suspects are accused of making NT$25m (around $830,000) from selling the fakes. If found guilty, they face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to NT$3.5m.


Hazardous deodorant on sale in Papua New Guinea

A pharma and personal care products company in Papua New Guinea is warning consumers to beware of a counterfeit aerosol deodorant product – a brand distributed in the country by Niugini Wholesale Drug called A Touch of Magic and manufactured by Chemcare group – which could cause skin irritation if applied. An EM TV news bulletin says that a slump in the economy means consumers are seeking out cheaper copies of products, and in this care unwittingly purchasing a lookalike product labelled A Touch of Mogic and using near identical fonts and packaging.


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