£10,000 fine for latest target of Rubie’s anti-piracy operation

A company which had been selling counterfeit children’s dressing up costumes was fined £10,400 on Wednesday 7 November 2018 at Antrim Crown Court in Northern Ireland.

The online retailer was one of the first operations to be targeted by Rubie’s anti-piracy operation, back in late 2016. The case, which was bought by the Department for Economy’s Trading Standards Service and took almost two years to bring to court, saw the company Gat Fashion pleading guilty to 15 charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994. Owner Quan Gan was sentenced to 140 hours community service in addition to being issued with the £10,400 fine.

Trading Standards Officers initially raided the premises in November 2016, where they found thousands of counterfeit children’s dressing up costumes which were being sold online from the premises.

The costumes bore trademarks such as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Mickey Mouse and Cinderella without the consent of the brand owner.

Around 4,400 suspected items were seized and another 2,400 items were later voluntarily surrendered. Subsequent investigations revealed that the business had arranged for the items to be manufactured on its behalf in China.

Mike O’Connell, global head of anti-piracy at Rubie’s commented: “We are pleased with yet another fantastic result and would like to express our thanks to the Trading Standards Service in Northern Ireland for their ongoing support in tackling crime in the region. Our extensive operations continue to yield success and we’re delighted to see another perpetrator brought to justice.”

Nicholas Lane, of the Trading Standards Service, also commented on the result, saying: “Genuine licensed distributors were having to compete unfairly against this trader. Consumers would have had no reason to believe that they were buying anything other than genuine items. Counterfeiting harms legitimate businesses and threatens jobs. The Trading Standards Service will continue to investigate sellers of counterfeit goods and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any trader found to be selling fakes.”

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