Counterfeits of leading club brands Titleist and Cobra were among 31,000 pieces of counterfeit golf clubs in various states of production seized by Chinese anti-counterfeiting enforcement authorities in July raids. The estimated value of the seized goods is more than $1,000,000. These raids follow similar action against 11 Shanghai retailers in May
In July, Chinese anti-counterfeiting enforcement authorities conducted a series of simultaneous raids at 5 different manufacturing locations of counterfeit golf clubs and equipment. Foundries, polishing factories and assembly facilities were raided and six persons were arrested in connection with these raids, including owners and management of these facilities. Criminal prosecutions are expected.
The government raids took place after Acushnet Company and five other American golf equipment manufacturers filed complaints with Chinese anti-counterfeiting enforcement authorities. Agents seized substantial amounts of counterfeit golf equipment, manufacturing moulds and related equipment and preliminary estimates are that 31,000 pieces of counterfeit golf clubs in various states of production, 9,300 grips and 2,000 shafts were seized. In addition, about 5,000 additional trademark representations and several counterfeit golf bags were seized. Most importantly, 84 sets of moulds for making counterfeit golf clubs and grips were confiscated, in addition to other manufacturing equipment.
Copies of clubs and equipment manufactured by Acushnet Company (Titleist and Cobra Golf), and other leading club brands were discovered. The estimated value of the seized goods is more than $1,000,000.
“These raids were significant not just because of the large amounts of inventory that have been confiscated,” said Rob Duncanson, the attorney coordinating anti-counterfeiting efforts in China on behalf of the listed manufacturers. “These raids were also successful in seizing significant amounts of counterfeit club manufacturing equipment, reducing the capacity that is immediately available for making more counterfeits. It may be difficult to replace the moulds and other equipment that have been taken out of service.”
The anti-counterfeiting efforts of the major United States golf equipment manufacturers in connection with significant support from Chinese authorities and the United States Customs Service continue to generate successes in fighting the counterfeiting problem at its source in China.
In May, 2004, the industry participated in a simultaneous joint raid of 11 retailers in Shanghai. Recent reports indicate that most of these retailers of counterfeit products are no longer operating.
“By continuing to leverage their collective efforts, these manufacturers are working to ensure that these low quality counterfeit golf clubs are no longer available to deceive the golfing public,” stated Duncanson
Speaking on behalf of Acushnet Europe, Graham Guy is delighted with the stance being taken in China. “We want our retail partners to know that we will continue to do everything possible to stop those who seek to profit from producing counterfeit golf products and illegally benefiting from the investments we have made in our brands. We welcome the efforts of everyone concerned in the US and China in this latest successful raid.”