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€32k of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing must be destroyed

OVER €32,000 of Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister clothing will have to be destroyed after a shop was caught selling the clothes without permission.

A court heard that more than 800 items of clothing from the popular US brand were seized at McGazz in Limerick's Milk Market on June 13.

Conor Twomey, of McGazz, told the court that he previously bought the clothes at Abercrombie & Fitch outlet stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Cheaper

He said he posted the goods to Limerick and had paid excise duty and tax before selling them at a cheaper price than that offered by the US clothing company.

The vast majority of the stock -- estimated to be worth up to €32,000 -- was made up of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing along with some Hollister brands, which is owned by the same parent company.

Under the 1996 Tradesmarks Act, it is illegal to sell trademarked goods from the US in Ireland unless they are licensed to be sold here and the manufacturer has given consent.

Brendan Considine, a private investigator hired by Abercrombie & Fitch, told the Limerick District Court court he had conducted a "test purchase" at McGazz on May 26.

He told Judge Aeneas McCarthy that the item of clothing was genuine and had been bought in the US.

Mr Considine said Abercrombie & Fitch is "very protective of its brand" and does not allow any third party to sell its clothing. Peter Clein, representing Abercrombie & Fitch, said his client only sells its clothing in stores which it owns and operates.

Mr Clein added that that the actions of Mr Twomey were "detrimental to the character and trademark" of Abercrombie & Fitch because the company only sells its clothing through its own network of stores.

Mr Twomey contended that the goods are "absolutely 100pc genuine and legal".

He said he has never bought or sold counterfeit goods at the store.

Seized

"I understand that they (Abercrombie & Fitch) don't like me and don't want me selling them because I am competition and I do sell their goods at lower prices then they do," Mr Twomey added.

Judge McCarthy said the law was on the side of the US clothing giant and granted an order for the destruction of the clothing seized.

Abercrombie & Fitch is about to open a store in College Green, Dublin.

hnews@herald.ie


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