A 49 year old counterfeit racing bike and bicycle spare parts seller, importing counterfeit parts via Aliexpress and reselling them via Marktplaats.nl, ran into an undercover purchase by Police in June 2016. The defendant was already warned by one of the bicycle parts brand owners (Shimano) in 2014, but continued his profitable and illegal operation after that warning sign. He violated the trademarks of Pinarello, FFWD Fast Forward, Most, Dura Ace and Easton.
The case was straightforward. Bad faith proven and also the professional nature of his business proven.
The Public Prosecutor was lenient by limiting the demand for punishment to 12 months imprisonment, although Dutch Penal law allows to claim four years for professional/business counterfeiting activity.
Much to the surprise of the bicycle brand owners, the Court was even milder than the Public Prosector and limited the punishment for unclarified reasons to the following:
This is a spoke in the wheel of the bicycle brand owners and shows that the Netherlands is not only has bicycle friendly climate, but also a counterfeit trade friendly landscape. Hopefully the Public Prosecutor will file appeal. This bicycle etappe was won by the counterfeiter, who did not appear on the stage to collect his prize, but hopefully the Public Prosecutor will win the grand finale, and the brand owners can prepare their gear and material to for the civil route which remains open.