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OpSec News Round-Up 11/29/2011

Posted by admin on Nov 29, 2011 6:47:29 AM
Cyber Monday Shutdown: FBI Seizes 150 Sites Selling Counterfeit Goods


The FBI shut down 150 websites authorities said they believed were selling counterfeit goods.

“The theft of intellectual property, to include the trafficking of counterfeit goods, creates significant financial losses,” FBI Cyber Division Section Chief Zack Miller said. “The FBI aggressively pursues intellectual property enforcement through traditional investigative methods, intelligence initiatives and coordinated efforts with private industry and domestic and foreign law enforcement partners.”

The federal government controls the 150 domains that were seized and a banner appears on the sites that they have been taken over due to copyright infringement.

The FBI said they made undercover purchases of counterfeit sports jerseys, golf equipment, handbags, DVDs and more. The FBI was joined in the operation by Immigration and Customs Border Control and the Department of Homeland Security.

Tom Taylor, president of brand protection for OpSec Security in Boston (which works to protect brands from counterfeiting) welcomed the move and its timing.

For full story, please visit Boston.com.

Feds Hound E-Commerce Counterfeiters on Cyber Monday


In one swoop, a Justice Department-led group of federal law enforcement agencies seized 150 domain names of commercial websites that it claims have been selling counterfeit goods.

The seized domains are now under federal custody. Taking place on Cyber Monday, the timing of this raid was not likely an accident. The federal government has been targeting counterfeit online sales and piracy since last year, seizing a total of 350 domains. It is widely assumed the Justice Department wanted to coordinate the takedown on one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. It also happens to be a day when online shopping fraud is at its peak.

To read more on this story, please visit E-Commerce News.

Feds Warn Against Counterfeit Goods on Cyber Monday


LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- 'Cyber Monday' shoppers beware: Online bargains that seem too good to be true probably are.

Millions of people snatched up legitimate Cyber Monday deals, but the federal government is advising caution. Some online purchases are actually "knockoff" purses and clothing. Other counterfeit items sold online can be downright dangerous.

Federal agents are trying to put counterfeit sites out of business. On Monday, the federal government shut down 150 website domains, an 80 percent increase over last year's Cyber Monday.

For full story, please visit abc7.

Feds Seize 150 Websites Selling Fake Goods


WASHINGTON - Federal authorities have seized the domain names of 150 websites accused of selling counterfeit or pirated merchandise.

The seizures were announced on Cyber Monday, the day that for many shoppers kicks off the online holiday shopping season.

Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, the Department of Justice and the FBI Washington Field Office, participated in the investigation, dubbed Operation In Our Sites.

Officials said the websites - which sold professional sports jerseys, golf equipment, designer handbags and sunglasses, footwear and DVDs, among other items - will now greet visitors with a seizure banner that notifies them of the federal action and informs them that copyright infringement is a federal crime.

For more coverage on this story, please visit CBS News.

Court Rules on Customs Confiscation of Counterfeit Goods


The defendant had bought a fake Rolex watch for his own use from a Chinese internet store. On import, Danish Customs confiscated the watch and suspended its release pending a decision by the court. The owner of the ROLEX trademark brought the matter before the court, arguing that the defendant should accept that the suspension of release was legal and surrender the watch to the exchequer for destruction without compensation.

According to the information submitted, the defendant had ordered the watch online at the Fashion Watch Online store on January 27 2010. The watch was described as a "Rolex GMT Master II 50th with Asian 3186 Movement". The defendant had paid $365 for the watch via credit card. A genuine Rolex GMT Master II in steel at that time would have cost $7,500. On February 11 2010 Customs suspended release and the trademark owner confirmed that the watch was counterfeit.

To read more on this case, please visit International Law Office.

The Persistence of Fake Designer Goods


Has anyone seen a band of thieves wearing cellophane-strip dresses and plastic cowboy boots?

Items such as these were stolen from the American designer Marc Jacobs' Spring/Summer 2012 collection in London last week, so it's just possible that a posse of newly stylish criminals may be on the loose somewhere in Europe. Intended for display to the European fashion press, the clothes are believed to have been stolen from a van in central London's Mount Street after arriving from Paris by train. Not yet available in shops, the horde is estimated to be worth around Dh230,000. This is admittedly a manageably small sum for a major brand such as Marc Jacobs', with its 239 shops worldwide, but it seems unlikely that the clothes were spirited away for resale, as they would be immediately conspicuous as stolen goods.

The loss is still potentially catastrophic for the company, nonetheless. Instead of seeking a quick sale, there is speculation that the thieves have stolen the collection to act as templates for counterfeit copies of Jacobs' new collection. Taken to pieces by garment fraudsters, these clothes may well one day reappear on the market as cheap copies of the designer's original clothes.

For full story, please visit The National.

Children Asked to Shop People Selling Fake Olympic Goods


Schoolchildren have been asked to blow the whistle on fraudsters peddling fake goods in the run up to London 2012.

Surrey County Council Trading Standards has sent teaching packs to Surrey secondary schools to help pupils identify counterfeit goods, including sports equipment, clothing and merchandise.

The youngsters have been asked to report any fakes they find as part of National Consumer Week, which also highlighted the sale of fake tickets for sporting events.

People from Walton, Hindhead and Dorking recently bought Olympic tickets unofficially, with a combined value of almost £1,500.

On realising their mistake they contacted the sellers, but struggled or failed to get a full refund.

To read more on this story, please visit This is Local London.

Courts Take Aim at Thriving Online Knockoff Industry


Holiday shoppers looking to avoid crowded malls and sales tax by going online for faux fashion will have fewer choices this year after a massive Internet crackdown on counterfeit designer clothing, jewelry and accessories.

The push has been nationwide, but in recent months, federal judges in Norfolk alone have ordered the shutdown of dozens of websites selling counterfeit Chanel and Abercrombie & Fitch products.

Judges across the country in recent years have issued orders shuttering thousands more involving all the big-name designer labels.

Some say, what's the harm? But attorney Stephen Gaffigan, who makes his living suing counterfeiters, says it costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars.

"We actually hear that argument quite a bit," Gaffigan, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said. "I think the plain simple answer is it's theft. It causes a loss of revenue to all companies. It causes a loss of jobs in the United States."

And perhaps tossing in a bit of societal guilt, he added, "When you go and buy a $40 knockoff, you're not paying taxes. People selling are not paying taxes. Those are the taxes that fund parks and schools."

For full story, please visit HamptonRoads.com.

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Topics: Luxury Goods, Consumer Goods, Intellectual Property, Legislation, In the Headlines