A director of a Belfast mobile phone repairs company has been fined £1,000 for selling counterfeit mobile phone chargers and covers after pleading guilty at Belfast Magistrates' Court to offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.
In a case brought by the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service (TSS) Mr Justin Milligan (38) of Saintfield Road, Belfast, (Director) pleaded guilty to thirteen charges under Section 92 of Trade Marks Act 1994.
This investigation arose following an allegation that a mobile phone repair shop in Belfast was selling counterfeit mobile phone accessories on its premises. On 25 May 2018, Trading Standards Officers visited the premises and seized 459 assorted tablet and phone covers bearing various trademarks including Apple, Arsenal Football Club, Adidas, Manchester City Football Club, Otterbox and Samsung. Subsequent examination of the seized items found them to be counterfeit.
On 19 June 2018 Trading Standards officers carried out further visits to the premises and seized an additional 544 phone accessories, including mobile phone chargers, which were confirmed as counterfeit by Samsung and Apple trade mark representatives.
Alison Gilchrist, Enforcement Officer for the Trading Standards Service, said: “Fake goods are not subject to the same stringent tests as genuine brands. Counterfeit mobile phone chargers are often made with poor quality components that fail to meet UK standards and have the potential to cause serious harm to consumers.
“The sale of counterfeit goods harms legitimate business and threatens jobs. The Trading Standards Service will continue to investigate sellers of counterfeit goods and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any trader found to be selling fakes. We would remind anyone involved in this type of activity that the courts can impose penalties of up to £5,000 or six months in prison per offence if trademarks or copyrights are infringed.”
Anyone who believes they have been sold counterfeit goods should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or visit consumer advice at nidirect or via the Northern Ireland Trading Standards Service Facebook page.
Notes to editors:
- The Trade Marks Act 1994, in Section 92, creates offences for applying trademarks to goods without the permission of the trade mark holder and for supplying and offering to supply those goods. Maximum penalty on summary conviction is £5,000 and or six months in prison per charge. More information on the Trade Marks Act can be obtained at legislation.gov.uk
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