Owners of valuable brands and original works often complain that the public do not take trade mark offences seriously. However, in one case, a shopkeeper who sold pirated DVDs was threatened with jail and hit with a £45,138 confiscation order.
The man had been warned to cease his illicit business by trading standards officers, but later test purchases revealed that he had not desisted. He ultimately admitted two trade mark offences and was given a 10-month suspended jail term. Further proceedings followed and the profits from his crimes were confiscated.
In challenging the confiscation order before the Court of Appeal, the man’s lawyers argued that he had not understood the proceedings due to his poor hearing and the absence of an interpreter. However, the Court noted that he had produced no medical evidence to support those assertions and dismissed his appeal. He was ordered to pay the confiscation bill within six months or face 16 months in jail.