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Is this the real thing?

Our client, an international manufacturer of leisure clothing was plagued with counterfeit products throughout Europe. Things were so bad that the ‘pirated’ products were often found being sold alongside the real thing at retail outlets.

The pirates were well organised, well financed and ruthless in penetrating this lucrative market.

By working alongside colleagues in various European cities, we were able to gather information on the methodology of the pirate operation. In time, using a combination of surveillance, undercover operatives, informants and leg work, we obtained details of distributors, had identified those retailers that were buying in pirated goods and had followed the pirated products to their source of manufacture.

We gained enough information to organise an elaborate ‘sting’ operation, where we worked alongside lawyers and police. In the country of manufacture a Trading Standards Authority did not appear to exist. We successfully seized a very substantial quantity of pirated products, and civil and criminal proceedings were pursued against those persons we had identified.

It is of course the case that the pirates never really give up and will continue to trade on the back of brand products. Taking robust action at least sends them the message that you will not surrender your brand without a fight. If they know you will do all that is necessary to protect your brand, they might, just might, go elsewhere.

If we can help you with a similar problem, please call +44 (0)1986 892006 or email The initial consultation is free.