Knock Off Handbags

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Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:08 AM
  #41
 
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Does a clerk in a Chanel store have the legal right to confiscate a fake bag? Do the security guards there do? No. Thats a job for customs. As for sales people being able to tell the difference betwenn real and counterfeit goods, well don't count on it. I once took a clearly fake Omega watch (sent to me as real from an ebay transaction) to one of our favorite jewelry stores, an authorized dealer, to verify that it was a fake to help me prove fraud to the CC co. (I eventually got reimbursed BTW) and the store manager couldn't tell. We compared it to a real one and after close inspection found about 10 differences. Store people by and large try to SELL. As someone who collects watches, another huge source of fraud merchandising, I can tell you that few sales people know as much about what they sell as someone who avidly collects and has the passion for this hobby. In fact I have been to jewelry stores on occasions when watch co. reps have been there to promote their product and these are the people who can tell whats up, not necessarily the sales force. So dfinley you are not the only one who can't tell the difference. But a trained eye can easily.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #42
 
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I belive a clerk in a Chanel store does have the right to seize what they believe is a counterfeit bag. Chanel has a registered trademark in the US for its bag sytles, and it is the presumed violation of this that would give them the right to seize a counterfeit bag.

At that point, US Customs may not even need to be involved in the bag was manufactured and sold within the US. Other branches of law enforcement might become involved based on a complaint made by Chanel.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 07:11 AM
  #43
 
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A clerk MAY NOT have the right to confiscate counterfeit.

The US Customs department allows US Citizens to import one couterfeit item, of each type, every 30 days for personal use.

If the US Customs department says I can legally have a counterfeit bag, I don't see how Chanel can seize it.

From the US Customs website...

"However, passengers arriving into the United States are permitted to import one article, which must accompany the person, bearing a counterfeit, confusingly similar or restricted gray market trademark, provided that the article is for personal use and is not for sale. This exception may be granted not more than once every thirty days. The arriving passenger may retain one article of each type accompanying the person. For example, an arriving person who has three purses, whether each bears a different infringing trademark, or whether all three bear the same infringing trademark, is permitted one purse. If the article imported under the personal exemption provision is sold within one year after the date of importation, the article or its value is subject to forfeiture."

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Jan 23rd, 2004, 07:27 AM
  #44
 
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I called US customs to be certain. The answer is that store clerks are not empowered to seize fraudulent merchandise. They can call a customs officer who could do the seizure only if the Co. has empowered them to do so. That is if LV, Chanel, etc. has given customs the right to act upon trademark infringement. It can not be done by store personnel. That would constitute illegal seizure and open the Co. to a lawsuit. The seizure can not be done legally by those not empowered. It has to be done by a so empowered govt. officer.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 08:06 AM
  #45
 
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Still confused how US Customs is involved if the bag is already in the US, and if there is no way to tell where the bag was manufactured. Is there some branch of Customs of which I am not aware that deals with domestic issues?

As for the illegal seizure, if I were the trademark owner, I would authorize my clerks to do it anyway and take my chances on the lawsuit. First, the owner has to prove his damages which will be difficult to do and may only be equal to the value of the fake bag, and second even if the plaintiff could prove damages beyond the value of the bag (momentary embarrasment in the sotre being the only possible claim, and hard to value), the fact that the bag was counterfeit would be a mitigating factor in any damage award.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:00 AM
  #46
 
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I don't think the issue is a lawsuit against the company whose employees confiscated the bag. The issue is the potential arrest of the employee for theft and assault. As others have mentioned earlier, it is illegal to produce and sell conterfeit merchandise, but it is not illegal to purchase or own it (I know it doesn't make much sense...). Even if it were illegal to have the fakes, a store clerk could not confiscate them eith or without permission from the boss. In the US only police may confiscate property and even then there are tons of rules and regulations concerning who can confiscate what.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:52 AM
  #47
 
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Cicerone you can't tell store clerks to seize what they think is a counterfeit bag. It is simply ridiculous. And do you really think a judge would see it your way? C'mon get real. The judge may very well decide to award damages based on illegal seizure and emotional distress and embarresment. And what about the bad publicity this could generate. How much could be lost with court costs, potential damage awards and bad publicity. All for a bag worth about $20.00. Not to mention that the law states one bag may be brought in for personal use only. This act you propose could violate that law. You must first think of the ramifications. Molly is correct about who can seize property. Sorry Cicerone, you have your point but it is clear what the law says. And if you "empowered" a clerk to seize a customers bag I don't think you would be in that job position very long, no offense intended. We have laws, rules and regulations to follow for a reason, i.e. to have unanimity in what we do and to prevent vigilantism which is what your suggestion is. Don't go off half cocked my man. Think it through. JM2C.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:55 AM
  #48
 
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Many stores are reluctant to even stop shoplifters.
I doubt that someone is going to seize a person's bag and all of the personal possessions it contains.

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Jan 24th, 2004, 11:37 AM
  #49
 
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I'm just kind of laughing at some people's vigilance in this thread. Not that I don't think trade infringement isn't serious and I certainly don't buy this stuff myself but I can envision a sales associate trying to confiscate someone's purse with all their belongings in it. Maybe someone should call one of the designer stores and ask what they would do. Personally if I worked there I wouldn't put my safety in jeporady by atempting to take someone's bag because it's an imposter. You never know what's in that purse!

Claire-

I saw someone last night with that ugly purse at an Old Chicago. I was staring at it, thinking to myself, now does that look like the real thing??? I think it was unfortunatly. I think the real LV bag looks alittle bit better but the knockoffs of it are so much uglier. I saw this family looking at the knockoff Dooney & Bourke one, I so wanted to say "don't buy that ugly thing". To each HER own!
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Jan 26th, 2004, 12:41 PM
  #50
 
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Bye, bye Knock Off Handbags post... I doubt Fodors will leave this one active.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 12:44 PM
  #51
TC
 
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Speaking of doing business with the bad guys, did anyone see 60 Minutes last night regarding American companies; GE, Haliburton, Conoco; doing business with Iran in spite of a ban by the US Govt.? Wasn't the current VP, Dick Cheney, the CEO of Haliburton? Reference to story below:

http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60mi...main3415.shtml
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Jan 26th, 2004, 01:12 PM
  #52
 
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I missed that program.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 01:19 PM
  #53
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Greatbags4ya, did you not read the posts where terrorism has been directly linked to knockoff bags?
 
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Jan 26th, 2004, 02:22 PM
  #54
 
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What is this, an Ebay offshoot now? Greatbags, hawk your merchandise in the street where it belongs (and I mean in the street, not on it).

Anyone who buys a knock off is aiding terrorism. And no matter what the polite sales people in Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc. say, they ALWAYS know a knock off, generally from about 2 blocks away. A friend manages a very high end accessory store, and she has people coming in daily, trying to compare their knock off to the real thing. In fact, just the other day, someone who thought he had purchased an authentic piece on line came in with it, and found out to his dismay that he had been fooled. And why would you want to carry a $200 knock off when you can buy a nice leather bag for the same money? It's not going to wear like the authentic one, and anyone who has one knows that yours is a fake.

Don't waste your money. Save it for the real thing.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 03:10 PM
  #55
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Leona, my hat is off to you. I couldn't have said it any better nor could I agree with you any more.

 
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Jan 26th, 2004, 04:06 PM
  #56
 
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Geez greatbags-You are giving us sahm a bad name. If you are that desperate to make money, go out and get a job.

I finally have my dh trained. He buys me a new Coach bag, the real McCoy, not some sleazy knock off either for my birthday or Christmas.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 06:25 PM
  #57
 
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I'd like to ask those saying that buying knockoff bags is aiding terrorism....do you wear, or have you ever bought a diamond???? nuf said...
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Jan 26th, 2004, 06:55 PM
  #58
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Bravo, Ranger! I bet many have GE products in their homes as well.
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Jan 28th, 2004, 01:44 PM
  #59
 
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I picked up a nice Rolex watch for $20 on 7th Avenue in the theatre district. It didn't come in a box and it didn't have a warranty, but, it's fun. If I ever get tired of it, I guess I could put it in the collection plate at a tent meeting. It has the correct time.
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Jan 29th, 2004, 06:04 AM
  #60
 
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GE?
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