2024-04-14 Imported 10,000 counterfeit brand-name polo shirts and shirts were seized and Yu was sentenced to 50 days of imprisonment for violating Trademark Act

Liberty Times Net April 14, 2024
By Wu Sheng-ru/Reporting from Keelung

In December 2020, a man surnamed Yu in Keelung met Mr. Wu in Wufenpu shopping district, who claimed to be from Singapore, and ordered 10,000 pieces of sports coats, tops, shirts, polo shirts and other clothing of well-known brands from him. When the goods were imported on September 30 of the following year, customs officers found the batch of clothing to be counterfeit and reported them to the prosecutor for investigation. After the prosecutor’s investigation, Yu was charged. The Keelung District Court recently concluded a trial and found that Yu violated the Trademark Act and was sentenced to 50 days of imprisonment and a fine, and the infringing goods were confiscated.

The Prosecution investigated that Yu claimed to have purchased NIKE, REEBOK and other sports brand clothing and 11,162 pieces of POLO RALPH LAUREN shirts and polo shirts at prices ranging from US$1 to US$2 per piece through the introduction of Wu from Singapore. The two parties agreed to Import goods by container shipping.

When this batch of goods was imported at the end of September 2021, the customs officers found abnormalities in the spot check. After preliminary identification, the goods were considered to be counterfeit goods. They immediately reported the Keelung City Field Office, Maritime Affairs Field Division of the Investigation Bureau and reported to the Keelung District Prosecutors Office to direct the investigation.

During the investigation, Yu admitted that the goods belonged to him and that he purchased them through Wu, whom he met in Wufenpu. The purchase price was US$1 to US$2. The other party claimed that they were genuine goods.

After the investigation, the prosecutor believed that Yu had never met the seller, and that when conducting a transaction with a large amount of money, he should have thoroughly investigated the source of the goods, the authenticity of the goods, the identity and credit of the seller, the market price and market conditions of the goods, etc. The fact that promising to buy and sell a large amount of goods across the border with just a few words is against the common sense of rational transactions. Therefore, Yu’s subjective claim that he did not know that he bought counterfeit goods should be rejected. He will be prosecuted for violating the Trademark Act and petitioned the court to recommend a sentence of imprisonment.

The judge held that Yu’s importation of goods that infringed on trademark rights caused considerable damage to the potential market interests of the trademark owner and hindered the order of fair trade. Considering that he finally admitted his offense during the trial and mediated with the trademark owner to offer compensation, and his attitude after the offense was good, so Yu was sentenced to 50 days of imprisonment for violating the Trademark ACT, and his sentence may be commuted to a fine of NT$ 50,000, and the 12,671 infringing goods seized were confiscated.

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