Two bonds, owned by The Discount Store, were yesterday searched for the fake “Piccadilly” shoes as marshals continued to execute court orders, in a battle of two Regent Street establishments.
The marshals accompanied by police, the owner of Bhena’s Footwear, Bhena Lall, and her employees, conducted searches at a High Street bond before visiting a four-storey building on Camp Street for the fake shoes, but nothing was found.
Mrs. Lall said she believes that boxes of the illegal shoes have been taken elsewhere and stashed since there are indications of boxes being “freshly moved” from both locations.
Yesterday, at High Street, there were verbal clashes between officials of the store and the police and marshals but the search there was allowed when the court orders were shown.
An official of the The Discount Store warned Kaieteur News not to take his picture.
At Camp Street, an official there was almost arrested after he refused to allow the party to enter. He too clashed with police and was warned for behaving in a disorderly manner.
However, he calmed down and the search was conducted.
On Monday, in a case which clearly highlighted the problem facing Guyana with fake goods, a High court judge granted an injunction against The Discount Store barring it from selling the Chinese-made shoes which was produced to look like Brazilian-made “Piccadilly” shoes.
In addition, Chief Justice (ag), Ian Chang, had ordered that all the fake shoes be handed over to Bhena’s Footwear under a court decision made.
Officials seized 278 boxes of fake brand-name Piccadilly shoes from The Discount Store, Regent Street building. More than 40 pairs were also recovered from a stall owned by the store at the Stabroek Market.
The boxes were only found after a search of the attic of the Regent Street store. When the marshals entered, the proprietor of the store presented a few pairs of the shoes and claimed that those were all at the business.
However, when the court officers conducted a thorough search of the premises they found dozen of boxes of the shoes stacked on high shelves and almost hidden from view. The seized shoes are now awaiting court orders to be destroyed.
Delores Thompson, Manager of Bhena’s Footwear, had said that her establishment was embarrassed when people encountered problems with the fake shoes that they bought. She said that it affected the genuine product her establishment marketed.
On Monday, the Brazilian manufacturers of the shoes, A. GRINGS S.A. was granted the injunction in which Lall in an affidavit said she is sole agent in Guyana for the company.
The injunction orders the seizure of all the fake shoes and sandals until a hearing set for August 8.
The case was filed against RNK Investments International Inc. of 102 Regent Street, owned by Rizwan Nayeam Khan and Bibi Sheherazad Khan. The last two are directors of RNK Investments which trades under the name of The Discount Store.
In addition to the injunction, the Brazilian company is asking for an enquiry to determine damages, or if possible, an account of all profits. Interest and costs were also demanded.
The affidavit claimed that the defendants infringed on her right by importing counterfeit, cheap and low quality footwear from China and retailed it under the Plaintiff’s trademark, “Picadilly”.
Mrs. Lall said that after becoming aware of the activities, she bought footwear at The Discount Store in January and in June for which bills were issued. Both were tendered at the court hearing for the injunction.
It was clear that the shoes were fake since it was of low quality and the word “Picadilly” was mis-spelt, the affidavit argued.
According to Mrs. Lall, she had spoken to the second named defendant, Rizwan Khan who although admitting the shoes were counterfeit, also “informed me that I could do whatever I liked.”
The affidavit claimed that the defendants also have warehousing facilities at Camp Street and at High Street, Kingston, with more shoes stored there. The Khans were also preparing to clear three more containers.
Lall argued that the infringement of her trademark is causing her business irreparable damage in both goodwill and reputation and unless the defendants were restrained, her business will continue to face more damage.
Fearing that the defendants will attempt to move and conceal the counterfeit shoes and sandals and all evidence relating to the importation of the same goods, Mrs. Lall asked for court orders to have the shoes delivered to her business, pending destruction.
She alternatively asked for the name “Picadilly” to be erased from all shoes, sandals and clothing that are in the defendants’ possession.
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