Counterfeit Goods | Trading Standards Offences | Dawn Raids
Counterfeit consumer goods are those made or sold under the brand name belonging to another without that owner's consent and are frequently of inferior quality,
These goods are often unsafe, to the extent of being dangerous, as, for example:
- counterfeit electrical goods may not have received detailed safety checks that legitimate items would have received.
- clothing, more likely than not, will be made of inferior material,
- fake medicines will not have been subjected to adequate health checks, with, potential, fatal results,
- fake vaping merchandise, which currently enjoys an enormous market, can be harmful to health.
The market in counterfeit goods is now huge as they are readily accessible on internet sites and social media platforms. It was recently reported that counterfeit goods valued at millions of pounds have been seized in the previous twelve months from UK High Street shops and stores alone, which sum probably represents a small per cent of sales conducted over the internet.
For as long as consumers are attracted to wearing clothes or using goods with a popular designer name, at a price they can afford but knowing the goods are counterfeit, the illegal trade will continue to flourish.
Amandeep Murria of KANGS Solicitors highlights pertinent legislation relied upon to investigate and prosecute offenders accused of offences relating to counterfeit goods.
KANGS has been defending clients investigated and prosecuted for Trading Standards Offences of every nature for well over twenty years and is rated as one of the best criminal law firms in the country, being ‘Top Ranked’ by the leading legal directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.
We regularly represent individual and corporate clients who are the subject of Dawn Raids by Trading Standards and other investigatory authorities.
KANGS has won The Legal 500 award for ‘Criminal & Fraud Law Firm of the Year’ and the firm’s founding solicitor and senior partner, Hamraj Kang, has won The Legal 500 award for ‘Individual Criminal & Fraud Solicitor of the Year’.
The Relevant Legislation | KANGS Regulatory Offences Defence Solicitors
The Trade Marks Act 1994 (‘the Act’) states at section 92:
’Unauthorised use of trade mark, &c. in relation to goods.
(1) A person commits an offence who with a view to gain for himself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another, and without the consent of the proprietor:
(a) applies to goods or their packaging a sign identical to, or likely to be mistaken for, a registered trade mark, or
(b) sells or lets for hire, offers or exposes for sale or hire or distributes goods which bear, or the packaging of which bears, such a sign, or
(c) has in his possession, custody or control in the course of a business any such goods with a view to the doing of anything, by himself or another, which would be an offence under paragraph (b).
(2) A person commits an offence who with a view to gain for himself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another, and without the consent of the proprietor:
(a) applies a sign identical to, or likely to be mistaken for, a registered trade mark to material intended to be used—
(i) for labelling or packaging goods,
(ii) as a business paper in relation to goods, or
(iii) for advertising goods, or
(b) uses in the course of a business material bearing such a sign for labelling or packaging goods, as a business paper in relation to goods, or for advertising goods, or
(c) has in his possession, custody or control in the course of a business any such material with a view to the doing of anything, by himself or another, which would be an offence under paragraph (b).
(3) A person commits an offence who with a view to gain for himself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another, and without the consent of the proprietor—
(a) makes an article specifically designed or adapted for making copies of a sign identical to, or likely to be mistaken for, a registered trade mark, or
(b) has such an article in his possession, custody or control in the course of a business,
knowing or having reason to believe that it has been, or is to be, used to produce goods, or material for labelling or packaging goods, as a business paper in relation to goods, or for advertising goods.’
Potential Defences Available | KANGS Trading Standards Solicitors
Section 92 of the Act also states:
‘(4) A person does not commit an offence under this section unless:
(a) the goods are goods in respect of which the trade mark is registered, or
(b) the trade mark has a reputation in the United Kingdom and the use of the sign takes or would take unfair advantage of, or is or would be detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the trade mark.
(5) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that he believed on reasonable grounds that the use of the sign in the manner in which it was used, or was to be used, was not an infringement of the registered trade mark.’
Sentencing Upon Conviction | KANGS Criminal Court Solicitors
An offence will be dealt with as an ‘either way’ offence, meaning that it can be tried either in the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.
Upon conviction, a defendant will face in the:
- Magistrates’ Court: a fine, up to six months imprisonment or both.
- Crown Court: fine, a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years or both.
Additionally, the following may also be imposed:
- Confiscation Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Forfeiture – section 97 of the Trade Marks Act 1994
- Deprivation Orders
- Director Disqualification Orders
Who Can I Contact for Advice and Help? | KANGS Trading Standards Solicitors
The Team at KANGS Solicitors, on a daily basis, represents clients investigated and prosecuted for all types of Regulatory Offences.
This can include the following:
- Formulating a reply to Notices received by Trading Standards.
- Representation at dawn raids and interviews.
- Negotiation with Trading Standards seeking to avoid prosecution.
- Defending prosecutions of every nature brought by Trading Standards.
Our Team is nationally renowned for providing a service of the highest quality to all clients both individual and corporate and wherever located.
We welcome enquiries by:
Telephone: 0333 370 4333
If we can be of assistance, our Team will be delighted to hear from you.