Deckers Outdoor Corp. announced the preliminary results of its anti-counterfeiting activities in 2010 on behalf of its brand UGG Australia. The data includes the single largest seizure of counterfeit product in the history of the brand, which occurred on December 23 in Putian City, Fujian Province in China. Chinese Public Security Bureau authorities seized 244,648 pairs of counterfeit UGG Australia product.
That surpassed the total number of pairs seized in the previous 118 raids in 2010. Significant growth in all areas of enforcement, from Customs seizures to website takedowns, illustrates both the pernicious nature of organized counterfeit operations, and the company's commitment to fighting counterfeiting globally.
Deckers Outdoor Corporation Chairman and CEO Angel Martinez, putting the results in perspective, said, “Counterfeiting is not only a consumer and business fraud issue, but a larger social plague that involves global human rights, child labor and health and safety issues. We are committed to combating counterfeiting to protect our consumers, and the chain of unseen and unknown victims of these crimes.”
Highlights of 2010 UGG(R) Australia Anti-Counterfeit Initiatives:
1. Worldwide Customs seizures netted 154,829 pair of counterfeit UGG boots and shoes. Customs seizures increased 245% over 2009.
2. UK Trading Standards, the police division that responds to consumer complaints on counterfeit products, seized 21,918 pair.
3. Deckers succeeded in enforcing against 4,783 counterfeit-dedicated websites world-wide, a 190% increase over 2009.
4. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Deckers Outdoor filed 3,721 complaints resulting in the removal of organic search links to counterfeit sites that used copyrighted material, an increase of 350% over 2009.
5. Deckers succeeded in removing 2,350 sponsored links from search engines, disabling websites that sell counterfeit goods while also infringing on UGG Australia trademarks.
6. Deckers facilitated the take-down of 30,444 eBay and other auction site listings selling counterfeit UGG(R) Australia product, an increase of 130% over 2009.
7. Deckers forced the removal of 504,504 listings on wholesale trade boards, which are mainly China-based manufacturers of counterfeit goods that sell to retailers, eBay and auction sites and flea markets, an increase of 374% over 2009.
8. Under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), Deckers filed suit to claim 374 URLs containing “ugg”, forcing the counterfeit websites to transfer the URLs to Deckers; under the same Act, Deckers filed for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to freeze the PayPal accounts of 50 China-based counterfeit websites.
9. Deckers cooperated with and supported Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) on a five-month investigation into a flea market selling counterfeit products based in the Philadelphia suburbs which was raided in November, resulting in the seizure of 700 pairs of counterfeit UGG Australia product and four sellers detained by ICE; Deckers also supported the US Department of Justice
and ICE's “Operation In Our Sites,” which took down more than 80 websites selling counterfeit product, including UGG(R) Australia, pharmaceuticals, DVDs and music CDs.
10. UGG(R) Australia hosts a robust anti-counterfeiting education effort on its own website and using social media channels Facebook and Twitter to help consumers find authentic UGG(R) Australia product, both online and at retail stores worldwide. Consumers can now use a look-up function to enter a website address or retailer name to verify if it is an authorized UGG(R) Australia dealer or a known counterfeit site.
11. Deckers' Director of Brand Protection Leah Evert-Burks attended the inaugural White House Forum on IP Theft: Protecting Consumers' Health and Safety, in Washington, D.C. in December, one of the few non-pharmaceutical companies invited to attend and work with the White House's Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel.
12. Deckers continues to work with US lawmakers on efforts such as the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Acts” legislation which recently passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is expected to be introduced to the new Senate early this year. This bill addresses websites selling counterfeit products and is an effort to stem the proliferation of such sites.
The company's Director of Brand Protection Leah Evert-Burks added, “Deckers is taking an active stand against counterfeiters globally, from seizure of product and broad investigations to take-downs of websites, trade boards and auction sites. Because the success of each of our brands is built on the trust of our retail customers and consumers, we will continue to work with lawmakers, Customs and policing authorities and through our own initiatives to ensure that fake product is seized and destroyed, and counterfeiters are punished.”
Deckers Outdoor's brands include Teva, Simple, UGG Australia, TSUBO, Ahnu and Mozo.