Designer clothes to be destroyed for trademark breach

Designer clothes worth tens of thousands of euro are to be destroyed after a court ruled a retailer breached the Trademark Act by selling the clothes without permission from the manufacturer.

US clothing giant Abercrombie & Fitch sued McGazz Ltd, which operates a small shop at the Milk Market in Limerick City.

During a lengthy hearing, Judge Aeneas McCarthy was told more than 800 items of clothing were seized at the store on Jun 13 after the company was granted a court order.

Brendan Considine, a private investigator hired by the Ohio-based company, told the court he had conducted a “test purchase” on May 26 and that he was told the item of clothing was genuine and had been bought in the US.

Peter Clein BL, representing Abercrombie & Fitch, said his client only sells its clothing in stores it owns and operates. The US company is due to open its first store in Ireland next month.

Conor Twomey of McGazz said he bought the clothes at Abercrombie & Fitch stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, had posted them to Limerick and had paid excise duty and tax on them.

“These goods are absolutely 100% genuine and legal,” said Mr Twomey, adding he has never bought or sold counterfeit goods.

“I understand that they & 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,” he said.

Mr Clein submitted that the actions of Mr Twomey were “detrimental to the character and trademark” of Abercrombie & Fitch.

Judge McCarthy granted an order for the destruction of the clothing seized.

The company rejected a proposal from Brian McInerney BL, for McGazz, that the clothing be donated to charity instead.

The judge said such an order may also be in breach of the Trademark Act.

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