Canada Goose hailed a recent decision from the District Court of Stockholm in one of the most significant counterfeit cases in Sweden, which found five individuals jointly and severally guilty of felony fraud, trademark infringement and customs offenses. The Court sentenced two of the defendants to serve time in prison and also awarded Canada Goose damages for a total judgment of 701,000 SEK ($572,808).
The defendants – five Swedish nationals – who used a number of aliases and false Swedish business name, operated the business from Thailand and sold thousands of counterfeit Canada Goose jackets alongside other luxury goods, between 2009 and 2012 in Sweden. Purchased in Thailand and repackaged in Sweden, the fake goods were found to be of poor quality in fabric and detailing, and used raccoon dog fur instead of coyote around the jacket hoods. Despite a blatant disregard for the law and confidence that he would not be caught, the main culprit was arrested in Bangkok in May 2012 and extradited to Sweden to be tried.
In its judgment, the District Court of Stockholm indicated that counterfeiting is a significant problem – estimating that 10 per cent of all goods in the European Union are counterfeit – and that the practice has a harmful impact on the economy, including causing unemployment.
“This is a clear victory in protecting intellectual property and consumers, and it sends a strong message that counterfeiters will not be tolerated,” said Kevin Spreekmeester, VP Global Marketing, Canada Goose Inc., and Co-Chair of the Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC). “Not only do these fake products impact our business and our brand reputation, but more importantly, they put consumers at risk for potential health issues.”
Previous analysis of imitation Canada Goose jackets have shown that they include feather mulch and other fillers which are often coated in bacteria, fungus, mildew and even feces. As well, because the jackets don't use real down or fur which provide the necessary warmth and protection from the elements in extreme cold climates, the threat of frostbite or freezing to death becomes a reality.
To educate and protect consumers, Canada Goose has made significant investments in the fight against counterfeit goods:
- Every Canada Goose jacket and accessory includes a hologram in its seam as proof of authenticity
- On the Canada Goose website, consumers can enter the URL of any website they believe may be selling counterfeit merchandise, to verify whether or not it is an Authorized Retailer
- Canada Goose continuously works with law enforcement agencies, border protection services and financial institutions and has hired third-party online brand protection agencies to stop the sales of counterfeit products