This successful prosecution followed a covert operation by Surelock, working on behalf of TRAP (Trade Mark and Rights Holders Against Piracy) identifying eBay sites and making test purchases of our clients’ counterfeit merchandise, then working with Cornwall Trading Standards to identify the offender and raid the premises.
David Scott trading as Bubble And Bling attended Bodmin Magistrates Court today in the matter relating to the sale of counterfeit clothing via eBay.
Surelock brought the matter to the attention of Cornwall Trading Standards in August 2014 after carrying out a test purchase of a “One Direction” varsity jacket via eBay.
In October 2014, a warrant was executed at a private address in Cornwall following information kindly supplied by eBay’s Global Asset Protection Officer showing that Bubble And Bling’s trading activities, over a two year period, generated a turnover of around £120,000 and that £20,000 related to “One Direction” items alone.
On executing the warrant, further trade mark and copyright protected items were found. These included the following – Scooby Doo Van, The Vamps, Monster Energy, Disney’s Cars, Super Mario Kart, Barbie, 1D, Little Mix, Hello Kitty, Melted Rubik’s Cube and Warner Brothers. There were a small number of additional clothing items already labelled up and ready to be sent to customers.
The investigation led to another trader in Cornwall applying the images to vinyl material to be heat pressed on to clothing at a later date by Mr Scott. This other trader has received a formal caution for his part in this activity. Furthermore, a Home Authority referral was carried out in respect of a business outside of Cornwall supplying Disney copyright protected images to traders in Cornwall without a licence to do so.
Trading via eBay meant Mr Scott had a worldwide customer base and had sold offending items as far reaching as Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
As a result of this investigation, Mr Scott received a three year conditional discharge for operating a fraudulent business and for trade mark offences. He was ordered to pay £4000 in costs and a £15 Victim Surcharge. The courts imposed a minimum penalty on account of his early guilty plea and mitigating factors.
All offending items seized have been granted forfeiture and will be destroyed.