SOURCE: U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

November 12, 2012 09:14 ET

Carpe Diem: Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group Works With Chinese Officials to Take Down Two Counterfeit Operations on Same Day

Golf Group Puts Pressure on Counterfeiters With Strategic Simultaneous Raids

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Nov 12, 2012) - The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (Golf Group) today announced the successful completion of simultaneous raids of two separate China-based counterfeit operations on October 18th. The raids of the unrelated operations resulted in the seizure of more than 1,700 counterfeit golf products by local Chinese authorities. These successes represent another step in limiting the production, distribution and sale of counterfeit golf products across the globe.

"We are thrilled with the progress the Group has made in working with Chinese officials to conduct these raids," said Jud Hawken, Associate General Counsel for PING. "It has helped us more efficiently coordinate raids and continue our momentum in this ongoing battle with counterfeiters. This sends a strong message to counterfeiters about our commitment to protect our consumers and the game we love."

The first operation targeted three separate facilities: a finished product warehouse and two assembling workshops. These facilities were located in Tangxia town which is a major industrial center in Dongguan City. On October 18th, after extensive monitoring, 20 Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) officials simultaneously raided all three facilities. The raid of the warehouse resulted in the seizure of nearly 300 counterfeit golf products. Officials seized 400 additional counterfeits from the first assembling workshop, the Zhongshun Hardware Processing Store, while the raid of the second assembling workshop led to the seizure of over 600 counterfeit golf products, three assembling machines and nine printing plates.

In total, over 1,300 counterfeit golf products were seized in this operation. Furthermore, during the successful raids of the three facilities, officials obtained information found on the computer of Xiao Zhu, the counterfeit infringer. This led to the discovery of an extensive online counterfeit golf business, which was an extension of the operation's brick-and-mortar presence. Criminal prosecution will now be pursued against those involved in the operation.

The second counterfeit operation raided that same day involved a processing factory also based in Dongguan City. After a lengthy period of information gathering and monitoring, a two-story processing facility was raided by local representatives of the AIC. This particular raid resulted in the seizure of over 350 counterfeit golf products.

"In the last year, we have obtained significant intelligence regarding how these counterfeit operations conduct business and ways to shut them down," said Christa McNamara, Vice President of Corporate Communications for TaylorMade-adidas Golf. "With each success, we're able to gain more information that can help lead us to the next counterfeit operation. In the future, we'll continue to track down leads to ensure that golf enthusiasts around the world aren't fooled into buying fake products."

More information about counterfeit golf clubs and products can be found at www.keepgolfreal.com.

About the Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

The Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group consists of five of the most well-known golf companies in the world -- Callaway-Odyssey; TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Ashworth; PING; Cleveland Golf, Srixon and Never Compromise; and Acushnet Company whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron. Since 2004, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group has worked with international law enforcement and government agencies to conduct raids and investigations of counterfeit operations, as well as raise public awareness of the issue. In 2011 alone, the group seized more than 80,000 counterfeit golf products.