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Nearly 200 Websites Shut Down in Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group's Latest Crackdown
The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group has announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has issued a preliminary injunction shutting down over 175 websites engaged in the sale of counterfeit golf products. The order marks one of the group's most significant achievements in the fight against counterfeit golf merchandise sold via the Internet.
Fresh on the heels of the group's report in January of the successful disabling of over 60 counterfeit websites, the news further illustrates its commitment to protecting consumers from unknowingly purchasing fake golf equipment.
The lawsuit involves over 130 separate defendants operating more than 175 websites. The counterfeit golf merchandise on the subject websites included clubs, balls and accessories and visitors to these sites will now be redirected to a website displaying information regarding the preliminary injunction and other details of the legal action being taken.
"Over the last decade, we've seen a significant increase in counterfeiters using the internet as a tool to dupe consumers," said Christa McNamara, director of Corporate Communications for TaylorMade-adidas Golf. "We've shut down a significant number of websites with this recent joint action, and it gives us momentum in our efforts moving forward."
"We understand that as long as there are people buying counterfeit clubs, there will be counterfeiters out there to make them," said Jud Hawken, Associate General Counsel for PING. "That's why education about counterfeit equipment is so important. Hopefully, future visitors to these websites will see that they've been shut down and realize that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Both within the U.S. and abroad, the group has focused heavily on education and enforcement and is dedicated to curbing the manufacturing and sales of counterfeit golf products. It has worked on educating its consumers on how to spot and avoid fake golf products through its own website, www.keepgolfreal.com.
The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Group was formed in 2004 to fight counterfeiters and protect its consumers from inadvertently purchasing fake goods. The group consists of five of the most well-known golf companies in the world-Callaway-Odyssey and Top-Flite; TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Ashworth; PING; Cleveland Golf, Srixon and Never Compromise; and Acushnet Company whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron. Its efforts have resulted in dozens of successful raids carried out by Chinese law enforcement and civil enforcement authorities.