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Monthly Archives: January 2015

The True Cost of a ‘Faux’ Designer Wardrobe

  • January 29, 2015
  • What used to be seen as an impulse holiday buy, has brought a dangerous reality to our shores.

    Designer knock offs and counterfeit goods have always been a problem for the original designer, having to battle off the competition. However now, according to Interpol, counterfeiting operations pose a real threat. Whilst you may not think there is anything wrong with buying a fake Gucci bag off a market stall, it often has larger consequences.

    fake2The main problem lies with counterfeit goods not imitations. So what is the difference? Imitation goods or ‘designer-inspired’ are legal knock offs of a designer product. The item will not be an exact copy and have slight differences to the original such as the stitching, the logo, materials, and lining. Moreover, if you’re buying a Louis Vuitton bag for £25 on a market stall, chances are it is a fake!

    Counterfeit items are fake products being advertised or sold as the real thing. The exact definition of a counterfeit product is one that is “made in exact imitation of something valuable with the intention to deceive or defraud”. Earlier this year, business secretary Vince Cable called for a global approach to tackling counterfeit operations. This is due to many counterfeiting operations being used as funding for criminal or terrorist organisations. Whilst counterfeit clothing cannot be seen as dangerous as counterfeit cigarettes for example, as it does not directly harm the consumer, somewhere along the production line, people are harmed – whether it is during the manufacture violating human rights and child labour laws, or the profits funding drug cartels and terrorist groups.

    Some counterfeiting operations are so widespread that it can be hard to spot a fake, only a trained eye can spot the differences. The items are manufactured to a relatively high level of quality for fake, and can be sold for high prices. For example, a counterfeit Rolex can be sold for $100 online.

    One could argue that being a student you cannot afford luxury designer goods, shown on the catwalks each year – but does that justify buying into this illegal trade?

    Luxury designer companies claim the fashion industry is losing millions each year to counterfeit products. However, another spin on the argument by fashion houses is that imitations seen on the high-street are reducing their profits. Forever 21 has allegedly been sued over 50 times for copying designer clothes and selling them as their own designs! Most high-street chains, such as Zara and Topshop, copy the looks off the catwalks and recreate them in a more ‘mainstream’ way for consumers as ‘inspired’ copies.

    Valentino's Rockstud Heels

    However, once watching a few designer catwalks, you can easily spot the high-street designs closed to the originals. For example, the hugely popular Rockstud collection by Valentino has created imitations in most shops. This pair of shoes in New Look has an uncanny resemblance to the So Noir 65 Pump design.

    Is it morally right to buy an crude imitation just to wear the latest trends?

    It can be argued that all catwalk shows set the trends for each season of fashion so imitations are going to appear in the shops – that is the hierarchy of the fashion industry. The problem arises when counterfeit or exact copies are sold for finical gain. Criminal or not, neither should profit off a designers’ hard work.

    So next time you go to buy a fake Gucci bag for £30, imagine that was your hard work being ripped off and think about the consequences of your purchase…

    Written By: Daisy Holden

    Featured Image From:

    Original article:





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    by dave

Pop Star Rihanna Wins Legal Battle

  • January 23, 2015
  • Singer Rihanna has won a legal battle against high street store Topshop over a T-shirt bearing her image.

    The Court of Appeal in London upheld a ban on the store selling a sleeveless T-shirt featuring a photo of the star without obtaining her permission.

    In the first successful celebrity case of its kind, three appeal judges agreed marketing the item without Rihanna’s approval amounted to “passing off”.

    In other words, the unauthorised image was damaging to Rihanna’s brand.

    The star sued Topshop’s parent company Arcadia for $5m (£3.3m) back in 2013 over the T-shirts, which featured a photo taken during a video shoot in 2011.

    RihannaIn his ruling in July 2013, Mr Justice Birss found some buyers would have been deceived into buying the top because of a “false belief” it had been approved by the singer.

    He said it was damaging to her “goodwill” and represented a loss of control over Rihanna’s reputation in the “fashion sphere”.

    Topshop lawyers had urged the appeal judges – Lord Justice Richards, Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice Underhill – to rule that Mr Justice Birss had misunderstood the law on celebrity merchandising.

    Geoffrey Hobbs QC argued the court was dealing with a “decorated T-shirt” similar to merchandise featuring images of stars such as Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.

    Mr Hobbs suggested Rihanna was using the law wrongly to claim “only a celebrity may ever market his or her own character”.

    Topshop lawyers had previously argued there was “no intention to create an appearance of an endorsement or promotion”.

    All three judges unanimously dismissed the appeal.

    More at

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    by dave

Two Jailed for Selling Counterfeit Goods in A Bit of Magic

  • A man selling fake perfumes, pocketing over £120,000, has been jailed for 16 months.

    Patrick Morris, 65, operated his online knock-down-priced business “a-bit-of” from his home in Deal.

    Alongside him in the counterfeit con was godson James Cumming, 42, who described himself as an online shop manager.

    Cumming was jailed alongside Morris for six months when they appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on 21 January 2015, for their conspiracy to falsely use trademarks.

    Morris sourced the goods – men’s and women’s fragrances, hair straighteners, audio goods, ‘Ugg’ boots and children’s backpacks – from China.

    Morris had around 5,000 customers using his website which was set up in 2011.

    During 2012, Kent County Council Trading Standards received numerous complaints that the business was selling fake products.

    Following undercover test purchases by Kent Trading Standards, which were then sent off for tests and confirmed to be fake, Kent Trading Standards visited Morris’ home in Wellington Parade on 8 November 2012 where more than 500 goods were seized, including two laptops and an iPhone.

    A selection of the counterfeit goods being sold online
    A selection of the counterfeit goods being sold online


    The estimated value of the seized goods belonging to Morris was in the region of £11,533 – £12,566 based on his selling price obtained from business records.

    The goods seized included well-known brands such as Chanel, Dior, Dolce and Gabanna, Paco Rabanne.

    GHD hair straighteners and audio goods purporting to be Bose, Beats and Pioneer were also bagged.

    It is estimated that the real brands lost out on around £360,000 worth of legitimate business.

    Trading Standards manager Mark Rolfe said: “Kent County Council’s Trading Standards has put paid to these criminal entrepreneurs who were defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses.

    “Those who deal in counterfeit goods can expect to be prosecuted and can face prison sentences as a result.”

    “All the goods seized were confirmed by the trademark holders as being counterfeit. Because the goods were fake, there were safety concerns over the electrical goods and fragrances which are required to comply with European safety legislation.”

    “There is the safety risk to consumers of using products which are not genuine and therefore the quality of them and their safety is not known.”

    “The scale of offending was such that the gross profit from the business amounted to over £120,000, with in excess of 5,000 consumers buying from the website.”

    Surelock carried out the authentication of some of the perfumes following the seizure by Trading Standards

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    by dave

Man Jailed for Importing Stun Guns and for Trade Mark Offences

  • January 22, 2015
  • In July 2014 Aaron Davies of East Preston, West Sussex was convicted by the jury at the end of a two day trial at Chichester Crown Court of all counts of offences under the Trade Marks Act.  Sentencing was adjourned until the outcome of a Police trial in respect of weapons (stun guns) found and seized at the same time as the counterfeit goods.  Mr Davies was also convicted at this trial on 9th January 2015.

    Mr Davies was sentenced to five and a half years in respect of the weapons and an additional 9 months for each count of the Trade Marks offences to run concurrently.

    An Order for forfeiture and destruction of the goods was also made.

    Surelock carried out authentication examinations on some of the seized counterfeit items.

    More at




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    by dave

Classic Living and Poundsaver Scam

  • January 16, 2015
  • If you have had money taken from your account by either Classic Living, Poundsaver or L-EV8 Marketing then you need to contact your bank as soon as possible.

    The parents of one Andover resident recently had this happen to them with £160 being taken from their account but the amounts can be varied. There are currently 30+ pages of complaints on the “Who Calls Me” website along with the phone number associated with it – 0800 1077 333.

    The problem appears to be connected with a TV Shopping Channel called Pitch TV where once a purchase is made, your details are passed on and deductions taken from your account.

    To find out more about the company and the list of programmes they run, see the L-EV8 website.


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    by dave

Worthing eBay Seller Prosecuted for Selling Counterfeit Tee Shirts

  • January 12, 2015
  • Mr Joseph David Walker of Worthing was prosecuted on Friday 9th January 2015 in Worthing Magistrates Court for the manufacture, possession and sale of counterfeit tee shirts bearing Led Zeppelin and ACDC etc. trade marks. He pleaded guilty and received a fine of £2,500, costs of £1,324.76 and a £50 victim surcharge.

    Mr Walker was offering these items for sale on his eBay page and he sold two tee shirts (one to a Trading Standards Officer and one to a brand holder). When Officers visited Mr Joseph David Walker’s address and executed a warrant, they found him in possession of such items too.

    Surelock initially brought this case to the attention of West Sussex Trading Standards.


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    by dave