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A UK woman has pleaded guilty to infringing the trade mark of Cath Kidston following the sale of over 5,000 counterfeit mobile phone cases online.
Ms Gemma Grainger-Peach, Somerset, found herself facing a legal battle after a complaint was brought forward by Cath Kidston.
A Trading Standards investigation and a search of Ms Peach’s property revealed that she had sold 5,165 counterfeit mobile phone cases online, all of which infringed Cath Kidston’s trade mark, over a two-year period.
Judge David Ticehurst, at Taunton Crown Court, made a £20,000 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
If Ms Peach failed to pay the money within three months, she was told she would face an eight month prison sentence.
David Hall, Somerset County Council Deputy Leader, said: “counterfeiting is illegal and takes custom away from legitimate businesses as well as putting substandard and shoddy goods into circulation.”
“This case shows that, where appropriate, our trading standards officers will take action by bringing offenders before the courts and when possible will ensure any proceeds from the crime are confiscated.”
Ultimately, exploiting, copying or otherwise using another’s registered trade mark without proper authorisation will amount to “trade mark infringement”. It is important to remember that trade mark infringement is not a victimless crime – it can, and has the ability to, threaten legitimate businesses, employees and significantly undermine consumer confidence.
Burberry UK, a leading British fashion label, has won an intellectual property legal battle after calming a musician had infringed its trade marks in such a way which could have caused “irreparable harm” to their brand.
Burberry UK filed a trade mark infringement suit against US-based recording artist Perry Moise – who was at the time performing under the name Burberry Perry.
The fashion label feared the musician’s use of their registered trade mark name could cause “irreparable harm” to their brand; principally as the company launched its own digital platform Burberry Acoustics to promote and celebrate up-and-coming musicians.
In addition, Burberry had set up its own channel at the Apple Music Store and clearly had its own presence within the music industry.
The US District Court in New York ruled in the label’s favour, preventing the performer from using the company’s name and/or trade marks for the foreseeable future.
However, prior to proceedings, Perry Moise had reportedly already announced via social media that he would be changing his stage name to The Good Perry. As the recording artist failed to attend court, the ruling was listed as a ‘default judgement’.
A trade mark is a powerful sign which is used to recognise or identify your goods/ services and set them apart from your competitors. As a result, trade marks protect the goodwill you have invested in your brand and it is important to make sure that only your company benefits from this.