COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS

Sellers on Facebook and other social media websites are selling counterfeit goods in large quantities. Historically eBay was bad for counterfeits and Alibaba was another haven. More recently Wish has attracted the criminal element. Criminal organizations galore are flourishing on the internet.

Section 52 of the Competition Act is a criminal provision. It prohibits knowingly or recklessly making, or permitting the making of, a representation to the public, in any form whatever, that is false or misleading in a material respect. Under this provision, it is not necessary to demonstrate that any person was deceived or misled; that any member of the public to whom the representation was made was within Canada; or that the representation was made in a place to which the public had access. Subsection 52(4) directs that the general impression conveyed by a representation, as well as its literal meaning, be taken into account when determining whether or not the representation is false or misleading in a material respect.

Any person who contravenes section 52 is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up to $200,000 and/or imprisonment up to one year on summary conviction, or to fines in the discretion of the court and/or imprisonment up to 14 years upon indictment.

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The counterfeit on the left resembles the genuine Apple watch seen on the right. The counterfeit watch does not have a removable band while the genuine watch does. The counterfeit has a micro USB port to charge it. Apple watches use a wireless charger so that they can be water resistant. The counterfeit clearly is not even close to the IP67 standard.

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The counterfeit claim of a heart rate monitor is fake as well. This does not even have an LED, the heart monitor is simulated in software.

The counterfeit has a similar face to an Apple watch but it differs in several ways. First the watch has only the one face while the Apple watch has hundreds of designs.

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The counterfeit apps screen is similar to the Apple watch screen. It appears that the manufacture went to great lengths simulate the operating system. The screenshot from an iPhone will show the counterfeit has to use a different app (FunDo) to manage the device. The bluetooth on the iPhone shows the counterfeit as “Watch5” while the real uses “Apple Watch” I wonder how Apple would feel with this port showing a counterfeit. In Canada this is a criminal act, while in the US this is usually litigated.

Curiously the counterfeit watch is even rejected by the FunDo app. This suggests the counterfeit has been widely blocked from use so that the criminals cannot even sell remaining stock. FunDo is a legitimate brand in China who provides a wide range of personal fitness bands etc.

ADDRESSES

PayPal Inc, Attn: Legal Dept
2211 North First Street
San Jose, CA
95131

The vendor was reported to authorities in China as well. Chinese police told me they arrested several who were improperly selling “substandard” products. China, like other nations, takes commercial crime seriously. People do not realize the legal system in China is not vasal different from other nations. China has 1.6 billion consumers who also hate to be ripped off. For the record, I buy many things from Chinese vendors, the vast majority are honest and reputable.

It took months to finally recovery my funds over the counterfeit. Eventually PayPal also gave me a small credit as compensation for refunding CAD when I paid USD.