Wow Stuff is taking legal action on firms over what it says is ‘one the biggest global counterfeiting operations against a single product’.
The toy manufacturer has started legal proceedings against 16 companies which have allegedly counterfeited Wow Stuff’s hit Air Swimmers products.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Wow Stuff have issued warning letters to more than 500 distributors, retailers and manufacturers in the UK, EU and the Far East. Wow Stuff says many of these ‘recognised they were in the wrong’ and withdrew counterfeit products from sale.
Wow Stuff has also hired Lincoln IP and Geldards LLP to help protect the Air Swimmers property and prevent global counterfeiting.
Lincoln IP has secured two UK patents, a European Community trade mark and multiple registered European Community designs for these products.
“There’s been a huge number of infringing products flooding the European market,” said Lincoln IP’s David Fulton. “Most of the fake products are coming from China. Some of them are sold under an alternative brand but the products look and function in the same way as the legitimate versions.
Wow Stuff CEO Richard North added: “The original inventors at WMC created an amazing product which we have spent a lot of money developing and protecting.
“Court proceedings are certainly not how we would wish to spend our time or our money. However, when we saw the blatant disregard of our investment in this product range and the safety risks posed by these cheap, poor-quality counterfeit goods we felt that we had to make a stand.
“We will be publicising the names of everyone our lawyers prosecute and a percentage from compensation awarded by the courts will be donated to charity.”
More than half a million Air Swimmers units have been sold worldwide since launching in January 2011. The William Mark Corporation’s toys have received over 6m views on YouTube. They are manufactured and distributed in Europe by Wow Stuff, and globally with Toys R Us.
A TV campaign will promote new Air Swimmers toys later this year.
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