Local entrepreneur stands to lose millions to fake CWC memorabilia
…laments ICC's reluctance to take legal action

Kaieteur News
March 7, 2007

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The Calabash Gift Shoppe, the official licensee of Cricket World Cup souvenirs and memorabilia, stands to lose millions in a riveting battle with bogus CWC items which are being imported and sold locally, despite stern warnings from the ICC Local Organising Committee (LOC) against the sale of such items by persons unauthorised to do so.

Several local craftsmen who worked out a deal to retail their products through the Calabash Gift Shoppe as authentic CWC merchandise are also calling on the relevant authorities to step in, since legitimate businesses are under attack.

Last month, the High Court granted an injunction against Discount Store and Broadway Fashions, restraining them from importing, selling, wholesaling and/or retailing any products that bear the CWC 2007 or ICC CWC mark or insignia without the approval, consent, and/or permission of the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007.

Elizabeth Deane-Hughes, named in the court document as one of the proprietors of Calabash Gift Shoppe, told Kaieteur News that the injunction is being thwarted, since counterfeit CWC items continue to pour onto the market.

She told Kaieteur News that CWC authorities have been informed about the infringement, and had travelled to Guyana , where they themselves were able to purchase the fake items.

“That was a month ago; and yet, to date, the ICC, Customs and Trade Administration, and the LOC have not prosecuted anyone. These bogus items are biting into the legitimate market, and CWC is just a one-shot opportunity for us,” Deane-Hughes stated.

She explained that the fake merchandise is being imported and then resold to retailers and street vendors for sale as official CWC items, but at a cheaper price.

Deane-Hughes said that, to “spot the not,” one needed to look closely at the tags.

She explained that the authentic CWC swing tags are identical in appearance to those found on the forged items.

Dean-Hughes also noted that the presence of bogus CWC items on the market was also crippling several retail outlets that sold authentic merchandise, including Fogarty's, Nigel's Supermarket, the West Indian Sports Complex, and Woodpecker Products, among others.

Contacted for a comment, Chief Executive Officer of the LOC, Karan Singh, said that the LOC's role was to report to CWC on any copyright infringement, with the decision on how to proceed resting squarely with CWC.

Singh is adamant that CWC has undertaken to protect the rights of everyone involved in the hosting of the mega-event.

Guyana has enacted the “ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Bill”, which allows the local court to impose imprisonment terms of up to nine months when ambush marketing occurs.

The Act governs the 2007 games only for the period of the games, which are scheduled to run from 13 March, at Sabina Park , Jamaica , and end with the Final on 28 April, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados .

Termed the Sunset Legislation, the Bill embodies severe fines that range from $320,000 to $4.8M.

Cricket World Cup 2007 is exclusively sponsored by LG, Pepsi, Hutch, Hero/Honda, Indian Oil, Cable and Wireless, VISA, and Scotiabank.