The increase in counterfeiting has staggering financial implications for businesses, and huge implications for those that may unknowingly become involved. The BGIA are asking that golf professionals, retailers, golfers/consumers, and the trade be aware that if they buy or pass on counterfeit products the law deems them to be as guilty as those who produce them.

BGIA Chair, Philip Morley said “The BGIA is aware of the problems counterfeiting can cause its members, such as financial harm to companies and shareholders. It is also credited with funding organised crime, has health and safety implications, and causes huge reputational damage. Counterfeiting is a problem that all companies with a brand to protect must be conscious of.”  

BGIA Executive Board member and Managing Partner – Lynx Golf, Stephanie Zinser said “If you buy fake items, even unknowingly, you run the risk of paying a high price for the goods in the long run.”  BGIA Executive Board member and Head of Golf - Wilson (UK and Ireland), Lee Farrar supported this statement by commenting “When buying either online or from any source, trust your instincts, if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Counterfeit goods not only affect consumers but they also damage the livelihood of honest and reputable dealers and do not meet the quality and standards of the brand holder.”  

The BGIA would like to draw attention to the case of a Suffolk company director, who was caught manufacturing and selling counterfeit goods to unsuspecting victims through eBay in December 2016. He was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months and he had to pay £25,200; an amount of his criminal benefit. The company was also fined £6000. The BGIA will be commenting on current case that has not yet gone to trial when it is legally able to do so.  

The unauthorised use of a trade mark is a criminal offence in England & Wales under the Trade Marks Act 1994, section 92. A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine if they are tried in a Magistrates Court and a period of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and/or a fine if they are tried in a Crown Court. Almost all offences under the Trade Marks Act are classified as schedule 2 lifestyle offences for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.