British Couple jailed for selling BMW counterfeit goods

Stephen and Elizabeth Anderson were recently given a jail sentence with a combined total of two years for buying counterfeit  goods such as cufflinks and tyre valve caps from sellers in South East Asia and then selling them on eBAY, marketing them as genuine BMW merchandise.

According to the World IP Review, the profits from the couple’s illegal online business amounted to over  £1 million allowing them to lead an expensive lifestyle with wardrobes of designer clothes and a luxury sports car apiece.

In 2013, a financial investigation was launched by the UK Intellectual Property Office on behalf of BMW and it was then that the Northern Irish couple were found out. In fact the IPO investigation discovered that on a monthly basis the Church warden and his wife had been securing profits of at least £40,000 from their illegal venture.

Counterfeiting is generally only seen to be a significant problem in the Fashion industry since it is fashion cases in that are most frequently reported in the press. However, counterfeiting can occur in any industriy and therefore companies must be vigilant in protecting and policing their brands.

The best way to protect your company’s reputation, brand value and profits in today’s global marketplace is by registering a trademark and gaining trademark enforcement rights. However, just having the trademark is not enough. Like BMW you would also need to police your market for potential infringements and then be prepared to act on them when they do arise.

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