News item

Harrow sticker counterfeiters found guilty

Pic of counterfeit stickers

 On 12th November 2013 at Willesden Magistrates Court two local men, Shakil Shah and Miten Parmar, were found guilty of selling counterfeit goods online.

Shah, 29, of Stag Lane, Kingsbury, and Parmar, 30, of Buckingham Road, Borehamwood, both Directors of Blam Ltd were made to pay a total of £2,536.50 and £1,495.50 respectively in fines and costs, after pleading guilty to offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.

The court heard that in 2012, Brent & Harrow Trading Standards Service received intelligence, from brand protection company Back Four Brand Protection, that Blam Ltd, of Garland Road, Stanmore, was selling stickers displaying various trade marks of Premier League football clubs.

Test purchases of stickers displaying the trade marks of Arsenal FC, Manchester United, Batman, Hello Kitty and the Incredible Hulk were made by Trading Standards from Blam Ltd’s eBay page and from an undercover visit to their Stanmore business address.

The stickers were then sent off to their respective trade mark owners who confirmed that each sticker was an unauthorised reproduction.

Following this Brent & Harrow Trading Standards revisited Blam Ltd where a search was carried out and just under 3,000 counterfeit stickers were seized displaying trade marks including BMW, Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and No Fear. In addition to this computer equipment was also seized.

Further investigation revealed that Shah and Parmar had been made aware previously by Liverpool FC that they were illegally selling copies of their products.

At court the Director’s solicitor explained that her clients had been naive and did not appreciate the sale of the stickers was wrong as there were similar items being sold on eBay pointing out to the Magistrates that Blam Ltd did operate legitimately by selling various unbranded signage.

Speaking after sentencing, Bill Bilon Head of Consumer & Business Protection which includes Brent & Harrow Trading Standards commented, "The company clearly identified that stickers featuring registered trade marks would be good sellers and set about turning their legitimate printing business into a producer of infringing goods. The matter is aggravated by the fact that they had been warned by one football club that their actions were illegal yet did not make any checks with other brands to ensure that other images they were using were not infringing. Our Trading Standards Service monitors and investigates businesses for intellectual property breaches and I hope this case acts as a caution to others thinking of carrying out similar illegal activity."

**End**

Notes for Editors –

1) For further information on this press release, please contact Ash Shah on 020 8937 5511.

2) Mr Shah received a fine of £1,290, court costs of £1,126.50 and victim surcharge of £120.

3) Mr Parmar received a fine of £335, court costs of £1,126.50 and victim surcharge of £34.

4) Under the Trade Marks Act 1994, it is an offence to possess for sale or sell any goods bearing marks which have not been authorised by the trade mark owner. The maximum penalty which can be imposed by the Magistrates Court is a fine of £5,000 per offence and / or up to 6 months imprisonment. In the Crown Court the maximum penalty for an offence under the Trade Marks Act 1994 is an unlimited fine and / or up to ten years imprisonment.

DATE: 4 December 2013