Pole dancing. It's all the rage right now. Combining a slight sense of naughtiness with a damn good workout and the promise of tight glutes, pole dancing is gaining some serious traction and is big business.
So much so, that fake poles are hitting the streets and the courts.
The aptly named Vertical Leisure and Dance4me sell the market-leading brand of pole dancing equipment known as "X-Pole". As with many major brands, they are often the target of counterfeiters. This is especially so for high demand and high margin products.
Enter Skyrunner. They were selling X-Poles for much less than the RRP. Probably too good to be true.
After conducting a trap purchase from Skyrunner, Vertical Leisure and Dance4me discovered that Skyrunner was selling counterfeit X-Poles, instructional DVDs and marketing material.
Not only were the X-Poles fake, they were dangerous and likely to snap during use. Nobody wants to be impaled mid-dance.
Enter the Court. Skyrunner was ordered to pay $44,800 in lost profits, $50,000 for damage to Vertical Leisure and Dance4me's reputation and $300,000 in additional damages as punishment for being bad.
Counterfeiting is no longer confined to dodgy Saturday markets. It's widespread. But there are some powerful weapons available for combating it.
- Preventing the importation of counterfeit goods is most effectively dealt with at Customs. If you're concerned about counterfeit goods, you can lodge a notice with Customs. They'll seize goods suspected of being fake – but to be honest, they don't really have the resources to catch a lot of it.
- The courts have shown they are willing to award more than just damages for a provable loss to a business. Awards for intangible losses, such as reputational damage, and big awards of additional damages in order to punish and deter counterfeiters, are increasing.
$300,000 for poles seems like a step in the right direction.
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