Canada Goose wins $105K in Swedish counterfeit case
Fake jackets had raccoon, dog fur instead of coyote
Outerwear manufacturer Canada Goose Inc. has won what it calls a "significant" case against counterfeiters in a Swedish court.
The Toronto-based maker of clothing for extreme conditions said Tuesday that the court found five Swedish nationals guilty of felony fraud, trademark infringement and customs offences in the case.
Two of the defendants have been sentenced to prison time and Canada Goose has been awarded 701,000 Swedish krona in damages, a sum equivalent to about $105,000 Canadian.
The defendants allegedly used a number of aliases and a false Swedish business name as they sold thousands of counterfeit Canada Goose jackets alongside other luxury goods in Sweden between 2009 and 2012.
Purchased in Thailand and repackaged in Sweden, the fake goods were found to be of poor quality in fabric and detailing and used raccoon and dog fur instead of coyote around the jacket hoods.
"This is a clear victory in protecting intellectual property and consumers and it sends a strong message that counterfeiters will not be tolerated," Kevin Spreekmeester, Canada Goose vice-president of global marketing, said of the court decision.
"Not only do these fake products impact our business and our brand reputation, but more importantly they put consumers at risk for potential health issues."
Previous analysis of imitation Canada Goose jackets have shown that they include feather mulch and other fillers which are often coated in bacteria, fungus, mildew and even feces.
As well, because the jackets don't use real down or fur which provide the necessary warmth and protection from the elements in extreme cold climates, the threat of frostbite or freezing to death becomes a reality, the company said.