Fashionable footwear has always been popular, but in the last few years, fashion sneakers have really become the rage, but most people can't afford to spend hundreds or even thousands on a pair of Nike or Addidas sneakers. This has led to a booming fake sneaker industry, and just this month a reminder of how large scale the operation is has unfolded here in Los Angeles.
Counterfeit Air Jordans Discovered
According to U.S. Customs Border Patrol (CBP), almost 15,000 pairs of counterfeit Nike sneakers were discovered during an enforcement exam of a ship that had arrived from China at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport. The shoes were found in containers marked “Napkins” in an attempt to hide them. If these shoes had been the real deal, they would have been worth over $2.2 million dollars. True pairs of these shoes can sell for $1,500 retail and sell for up to $2,000 online.
Members of the Apparel, Footwear, and Textiles Center of Excellence (AFT Center) were with CPB when the discovery was made. AFT Center said the shoes were knockoffs of several Air Jordan style Nike sneakers and they consider this to be a form of intellectual property theft as those styles are trademarked and protected. According to the CPB report on the "Nike" seizure, Carlos C. Martel, the Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles said:
Intellectual property theft is a crime that leads to lost revenue for American industry, a loss of American jobs, and often poses a threat to public health and safety.
Counterfeit Industry and Online Commerce
Often when a sneaker becomes widely popular, they sell out quickly because the manufacturer either only releases a small batch of the shoe or they release new styles at a slow rate. This has led to a boom in the fake sneaker industry, with users going to forums like Repsneakers on Reddit buying or selling the shoes on popular e-commerce sites. China has become the leader of counterfeit shoes by producing 86% of the market, according to a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In June 2018, as talks of a trade war with China were just heating up, several trade industries, including the American Apparel & Footwear Association, wrote a letter to President Trump warning that additional tariffs on imported goods could end up indirectly fueling the counterfeit industry.
Sigal Law Group
Buying counterfeit goods is not illegal but selling them is. If you are suspected of fraud or illegal trade activity, you need a credible, expert defense team. Sigal Law Group will listen to your case and mount a credible defense to preserve your rights and freedoms. Don't wait, contact us today at 818-325-0570 or fill out a form to get started.