The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group, which includes Acushnet Company, Callaway Golf, Cleveland Golf, Nike Golf, PING and TaylorMade Golf Company, has continued its petitioning efforts to encourage Chinese government authorities to enforce its laws against counterfeiting activities within the Peoples Republic of China. In the latest series of enforcement actions, the Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce (“AIC”) raided four factories in the Xiamen area and seven retail outlets in Guangzhou. Petitioning efforts by the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (“Working Group”) resulted in the seizure of more than 4,000 counterfeit items during raids on factories which were all operating without a business license.
In addition to manufacturing and assembly facilities, the Working Group has also persistently sought to have Chinese government agencies enforce intellectual property laws against retailers who sell counterfeit golf products. In the raids conducted by the AIC against retailers in Guangzhou, more than 1,800 counterfeit items bearing trademarks from members of the Working Group were seized. The goods ranged from golf clubs, golf bags and balls to clothing, towels and even umbrellas. By petitioning the Chinese government to go after infringing retailers, the Working Group intends to send the message that no part of the supply chain is safe from anti-counterfeiting enforcement action.
Loo Shih Yann, a principal with the international law firm of Baker and McKenzie who is coordinating efforts on behalf of the Working Group in China advised that both the targeting of retail and production facilities as well as the petitioning of local government offices to pursue criminal prosecutions would continue in earnest where appropriate. The estimated aggregate retail value of goods seized in the 5 day operation is estimated at USD 1 million ($1,000,000.00). Loo also pointed out that some of the targeted retail shops were located near five star hotels and are obviously a trap for unsuspecting tourists.