26 November 2019

BOLTON PRINTER PLEADS GUILTY TO COUNTERFEIT PRINTING

Marketing and promotional printer Hot Print Design has been prosecuted by Bolton Council for printing fake fabric softener labels.

Trading Standard officers raided the firmís Pilkington Street address in the cityís Kenyon Business Park on 14 August 2018 and found almost 2,000 fake labels bearing the mark of Unileverís 5L Comfort fabric conditioner range. Unilever declined to comment, stating that the case was ongoing, however according to a report in the Bolton News the manufacturer did confirm that the labels were not genuine. At an initial hearing on 19 August 2019, Bolton Magistrates Court heard that officers had found 500 labels each for Comfortís Lily and Riceflower (pink), Pure hypoallergenic (white) and Outdoor Freshness (blue) products and 400 for its Sunshiny Days (yellow) product, the latter of which were being printed at the time of the visit. At the subsequent trial on 13 November, Hot Print Design director Mohammed Faruk Ugharadar pleaded guilty to four Trade Mark Act offences relating to the four label designs and "with a view to gain for himself or with intent to cause loss for another, and without the consent of the proprietor, did apply a sign identical to, or likely to be mistaken for, a registered trade mark to material intended to be used for labelling or packaging goods". It was accepted that the Ugharadar was not involved in the bottling or sale of the fabric conditioner, but it was noted that the labels marked as being hypoallergenic were a safety concern as the product the labels were intended for was unlikely to have been tested to ensure it was, in fact, hypoallergenic. Taking the guilty plea into account, Ugharadar was handed down a community order of 120 hours unpaid work, a forfeiture and destruction order pertaining to the Comfort labels and ordered to pay £85 victim surcharge by the court.