When it comes to the trade of counterfeit goods, Acushnet is continuing to defend its brands vigorously. In a further wave of action against the illegal manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit golf equipment, both in the UK and the US, Acushnet has this time put the spotlight on wholesalers and retailers of counterfeit products.
In the US, Acushnet has announced that it has filed suits in federal courts against retailers and wholesalers dealing in counterfeit Titleist Pro V1 golf balls, including Cam Golf, Inc. and Faber Brothers, Inc, City Sports, Inc. GI Joes, Inc. Kings of Golf, Inc. and others for counterfeiting and trademark infringement. These suits are the result of each of these entities either distributing allegedly counterfeit Titleist Pro V1 golf balls at wholesale or selling allegedly counterfeit Pro V1 golf balls in retail locations.
City Sports and GI Joes are not authorised retailers of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls and purchase Titleist Pro V1 balls through the grey market and other unauthorised channels. Cam Golf, Faber Brothers and Kings of Golf are alleged to have supplied counterfeit golf balls to various retail locations around the country.
“Acushnet Company makes all Titleist brand golf balls in the United States in south eastern Massachusetts,” commented Joseph Nauman, executive vice president, corporate and legal. “The investigations and litigation so far show that the counterfeit golf balls are being imported from Asian sources and are often marketed as genuine ‘back door‘ goods. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
“We continue to act to protect our brands and our customers from badly performing, poor quality, counterfeit products, wherever they appear,” Nauman continued. “Acushnet Company and other golf equipment manufacturers are investing substantial resources to stop the manufacture and sale of counterfeit products,” he added. “As we have said before – the protection of our brands and trademarks is one of our top priorities and we will aggressively pursue every situation where they are being violated.”
The illegal trade of Pro V1 fakes was also dealt a blow earlier this year in the UK when HM Customs at Manchester seized and destroyed over 650 dozen counterfeit balls. No prosecution or action was taken but the importer lost £6,000 worth of goods.
More action in the UK recently centred on the illegal resale of counterfeit FootJoy gloves. Reacting to information provided by an Acushnet retailer, counterfeit FootJoy StaSof gloves were seized following the granting of a high court injunction allowing the perpetrator’s premises to be searched. The product was a cheap leather imitation of an obsolete StaSof design and was being sold primarily over the internet as the real thing. Following a court hearing, the reseller agreed to cease trading and fully co-operate with sourcing information regarding the case.
This recent spate of action from Acushnet is the latest in a series of high profile raids that highlights the growing intolerance of Acushnet and other leading golf manufacturers with counterfeiters regardless of the size of the operation.