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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

CBP at JFK seizes Counterfeit Professional & Collegiate Sports Rings

JAMAICA, N.Y. — On March 11, 2019, CBP officers inspecting a shipment from China discovered and seized 177 counterfeit professional and collegiate sports rings worth an estimated manufacturer suggested retail price of $11.7 million, had they been genuine.  The seized rings were infringing on the Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) trademarks.

“Every day CBP Officers protect the American public and its economy,” said Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Office.  “This most recent interception of counterfeit sports rings demonstrates the ongoing vigilance and commitment to the mission by our CBP Officers and Import Specialists.”

CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program, and IPR enforcement is a CBP Priority Trade Issue.

We could use more sports stories that involve adventures with Customs….

 

QLE Posted: April 24, 2019 at 03:40 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: count da ringz, counterfeits, customs, rings

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   1. flournoy Posted: April 24, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5834800)
So these are counterfeit championship rings? Other than to turn around and sell it for more money, why would anyone even want one, authentic or not? Wouldn't you feel pathetic wearing a championship ring from a sports team you weren't on?
   2. dejarouehg Posted: April 24, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5834821)
Wouldn't you feel pathetic wearing a championship ring from a sports team you weren't on?
Exactly.

A few years ago when my son was in high school, the entire school seemed to be wearing professional sports team's jerseys and my son told me a couple of the kids would buy the counterfeits from China on-line and sell them to the other students. The FBI - or whoever - would shut down the site every few weeks and then the counterfeiters would re-open and the kids would find them right away and resume their enterprise.

It really was hard to tell that they were fake.
   3. villageidiom Posted: April 24, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5834842)
It really was hard to tell that they were fake.
The Dustin Pedroia jerseys are what tipped us off. The ones that said "Red Sox" or "Boston" seemed legit, but when we saw the one that said "15-Day IL" we figured something was up. First of all, it was a throwback jersey, and it wasn't called IL back then. Second, we looked into it and it turns out there is no team called the 15-Day IL, or even DL. We heard he's on the IL but apparently that's not a team, but a status within a team. These counterfeiters are getting more sophisticated.
   4. Greg Pope Posted: April 24, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5834861)
It really was hard to tell that they were fake.

It's possible that they weren't fake. Just stolen from the factories in China. A friend of mine bought a bunch of football jerseys a while ago. I think that the official NFL store is nflshop.com, but he got them from nflteamshop.com or something similar. He ordered about 20 over 4-5 different orders, and he got 15 of the jerseys that he wanted while the other 5 were for different players. From what we could tell, they were the real thing, just at 1/5 the price.
   5. flournoy Posted: April 24, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5834890)
Easy way to tell if the jerseys are fake: if they're being worn by fans, they're fake. An "authentic" Mike Trout jersey is one that is worn by Mike Trout. That kid wearing the Mike Trout jersey is not Mike Trout, regardless of whether or not his jersey was manufactured by MLB's officially licensed jersey manufacturer.
   6. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 24, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5834896)
This brings up a question. Is there any actual difference between the jerseys the players wear and ones you can buy legitimately, other than size and/or custom fitting? (I'm not talking about #5 above where the only real jerseys are the ones currently being worn by the player, making anything still folded in his locker before his pre-game shower a fake).

If so, is there no market for the "actual" jerseys that the players themselves wear?

If not, there would be a fundamental difference between rings and jerseys: there are a limited number of actual rings, one per member of the team. There would be an unlimited number of jerseys--only as many as could be sold.
   7. Karl from NY Posted: April 24, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5834926)
It's possible that they weren't fake. Just stolen from the factories in China.

This happens in some other industries (examples are board games, handbags, some electronics): the same factory produces more units than contracted for by the publisher, to sell through side channels without the publisher's knowledge. Is that fake? It's the same item and quality with the exact same materials and production process. The only difference is that the owner of the trademark isn't getting a cut. But such ownership rights don't even exist in Chinese law. The same item could be considered a fake under Western law but not by China's.
   8. Bhaakon Posted: April 24, 2019 at 08:13 PM (#5835050)
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that most championship rings for US sports aren't made in China and shipped here. The Jostens website claims all their jewelry is made in Texas. Tiffany appears to make most of their jewelry in and around New England. I can't find any overseas holdings for Balfour, though neither does a quick and dirty search reveal the location of their factory. Barons claims all their rings are made in North America. That covers the major players in American sports, so any rings coming out of China are all but certain to be complete forgeries and not just extras made in the original workshops.
   9. Lars6788 Posted: April 24, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5835059)
This brings up a question. Is there any actual difference between the jerseys the players wear and ones you can buy legitimately, other than size and/or custom fitting? (I'm not talking about #5 above where the only real jerseys are the ones currently being worn by the player, making anything still folded in his locker before his pre-game shower a fake).

If so, is there no market for the "actual" jerseys that the players themselves wear?


I don't think there is a difference other than what you mentioned [and perhaps some other specifications that may not be generally known to the public].

As the case maybe, for an average fan, the authentic jersey you can buy through official outlets costs at least $300 - it maybe more common to see fans wearing $30 knockoffs of dubious quality than shell out money for the real deal.

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