A UK woman has pleaded guilty to infringing the trade mark of Cath Kidston following the sale of over 5,000 counterfeit mobile phone cases online.
Ms Gemma Grainger-Peach, Somerset, found herself facing a legal battle after a complaint was brought forward by Cath Kidston.
A Trading Standards investigation and a search of Ms Peach’s property revealed that she had sold 5,165 counterfeit mobile phone cases online, all of which infringed Cath Kidston’s trade mark, over a two-year period.
Judge David Ticehurst, at Taunton Crown Court, made a £20,000 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
If Ms Peach failed to pay the money within three months, she was told she would face an eight month prison sentence.
David Hall, Somerset County Council Deputy Leader, said: “counterfeiting is illegal and takes custom away from legitimate businesses as well as putting substandard and shoddy goods into circulation.”
“This case shows that, where appropriate, our trading standards officers will take action by bringing offenders before the courts and when possible will ensure any proceeds from the crime are confiscated.”
Ultimately, exploiting, copying or otherwise using another’s registered trade mark without proper authorisation will amount to “trade mark infringement”. It is important to remember that trade mark infringement is not a victimless crime – it can, and has the ability to, threaten legitimate businesses, employees and significantly undermine consumer confidence.