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Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group's Efforts Lead to Significant Convictions & Raids in China
In a sign of its continued success working internationally to enforce counterfeiting laws, the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (the "Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group") reports the conviction of two Chinese counterfeiters and the successful raid of a separate Chinese counterfeiting operation.
These two results were made possible by the collaboration of the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group, the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and other local authorities. They underscore an important aspect of the group's anti-counterfeiting strategy. In addition to these international crackdowns, the group is also actively engaged in an education campaign to alert consumers on how to avoid purchasing fake clubs and products.
"We commend the PSB, the court system and local authorities for bringing counterfeiters across China to justice as we continue our fight against fake clubs," said Jason Rocker, a spokesperson for the group. "Raids and arrests are only a part of the solution. We also understand the need to educate consumers about the issue. Because as long as there are people out there buying counterfeit clubs, there will be counterfeiters making them."
On August 22, a collegiate bench of Shanghai Pu Dong District Court convicted Zhou Dao-sheng and his sister Zhou Ling-ling of selling or possessing thousands of fake golf products valued at more than $450,000. The Zhous received strong sentencing including prison, probation and monetary fines. According to the verdict, the pair sold counterfeit golf products through two online stores and a booth in the Shanghai Da Tong Yang Market. The two online stores operated from November 2006 through August 2010, while the booth opened in August 2008. In total, more than 8,000 counterfeit products worth approximately $460,000 were seized from a raid on those stores.
On September 7, working with the PSB and other local authorities, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group conducted a raid of five different facilities in Dongguan City, China, and seized nearly 60,000 counterfeit golf products worth thousands of dollars. A wide variety of items including clubs, balls, bags and apparel were confiscated. All five locations were run and operated by a group called "Simple Golf." Mr. Zeng Hong, the main suspect in the case, was detained and is currently in custody.
As a result of the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group's petitioning efforts, dozens of successful raids of manufacturing, warehouse, assembly and retail facilities have been executed by Chinese law enforcement and civil enforcement authorities over the past seven years. As part of its education efforts, the group recently launched www.keepgolfreal.com, a website designed to inform consumers on how to spot and avoid fake golf products.
About the Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group
The Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group consists of five of the most well-known golf companies in the world - Callaway-Odyssey, Top-Flite and Ben Hogan; TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Ashworth; PING; Cleveland Golf, Srixon and Never Compromise; and Acushnet Company, whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron. Since 2004, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group has worked with international law enforcement and government agencies to conduct raids and investigations of counterfeit operations, as well as raise public awareness of the issue. In 2010 alone, the group seized more than 25,000 golf products valued at more than $1 million.
The Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group is dedicated to continuing this education initiative and plans to continue its efforts in the future with webinars, pamphlets and additional online resources.