Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic October 24, 2012 - 7:19 am

Canada Goose wins against fake parka producers in Sweden

"Not only do these fake products impact our business and our brand reputation, but more importantly, they put consumers at risk for potential health issues"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
The real thing: Canada Goose Inc.'s parkas feature a distinctive circular patch and Canada goose emblem. (FILE PHOTO)
The real thing: Canada Goose Inc.'s parkas feature a distinctive circular patch and Canada goose emblem. (FILE PHOTO)

Canada Goose, known for its parkas featuring a distinctive circular patch and Canada goose emblem, has won a round against a company that manufacture and sold imitation Canada Goose garments in Sweden.

The District Court of Stockholm recently found five people guilty of felony fraud, trademark infringement and customs offenses.

The five Swedish citizens, who used a number of aliases and a fake Swedish company name, operated the business from Thailand and sold thousands of counterfeit Canada Goose jackets alongside other luxury goods, between 2009 and 2012 in Sweden.

Purchased in Thailand and repackaged in Sweden, the fake goods were found to be of poor quality in fabric and detailing, and used raccoon dog fur instead of coyote around the jacket hoods, Canada Goose said in an Oct. 23 news release.

The court sentenced two of the accused to serve time in prison and also awarded Canada Goose damages for a total judgment worth more than $100,000.

“Despite a blatant disregard for the law and confidence that he would not be caught, the main culprit was arrested in Bangkok in May 2012 and extradited to Sweden to be tried,” Canada Goose said in the news release.

In its judgment, the District Court of Stockholm indicated that counterfeiting is a significant problem, estimating that 10 per cent of all goods in the European Union are counterfeit, and that the practice has a harmful impact on the economy, including causing unemployment.

“This is a clear victory in protecting intellectual property and consumers, and it sends a strong message that counterfeiters will not be tolerated,” said Kevin Spreekmeester, vice-president of global marketing for Canada Goose Inc., and co-chair of the Canadian Intellectual Property Council. “Not only do these fake products impact our business and our brand reputation, but more importantly, they put consumers at risk for potential health issues.”

Previous analysis of fake Canada Goose jackets have shown that they include feather mulch and other fillers which are often coated in bacteria, fungus, mildew and even feces.

As well, “because the jackets don’t use real down or fur which provide the necessary warmth and protection from the elements in extreme cold climates, the threat of frostbite or freezing to death becomes a reality,” the company said.

To stop counterfeiters, every Canada Goose jacket and accessory includes a hologram in its seam as proof of authenticity.

And, on the Canada Goose website, consumers can enter the URL of any website they believe may be selling counterfeit merchandise, to check whether or not it is an authorized retailer.

To learn more about how to recognize an authentic Canada Goose jacket,  you can also visit the company’s website.

Earlier this year, Canada Goose alleged in a federal court filing that International Clothiers is intentionally misleading Canadians into purchasing low-quality knock-offs of Canada Goose products by using “confusingly similar” patches and logos.

Canada Goose claimed its red, white and blue logo patch and its placement on the left arm of its jackets form a “highly distinctive trademark” that International Clothiers is violating with its Canada Weather Gear and Super Triple Goose products.

They wanted the court to force International Clothiers to stop selling the jackets and, with Canada Goose’s supervision, destroy their remaining stock.

In its claim, the company wrote that International Clothiers is a seller of “poor to mid-level quality goods” that, unlike Canada Goose products, are made mostly outside Canada.

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