Major seizures in Germany and Austria – news in brief

© Tobias Arhelger/
Raids against counterfeiters in Stuttgart // Online trade with counterfeit goods uncovered in Hesse // Customs seizes counterfeits on A8 motorway // Vienna: Tens of thousands of counterfeits intercepted // Customs active at ISH sanitary trade fair

Raids against counterfeiters in Stuttgart
German police in the capital of Baden-Württemberg have recently scored two notable actions against counterfeiting: In early February, they seized a large quantity of suspected counterfeit luxury watches and handbags, worth tens of thousands of euros, in a residential unit in the city’s Bad Cannstatt district. Officials believe that a 33‑year-old man was running a counterfeiting workshop there; he is also alleged to have sourced counterfeit certificates of authenticity and packaging material from abroad. Just a few weeks later, in March, officers in Stuttgart‑West seized around 150 bicycles. The bikes were offered for sale as counterfeit brand-name bicycles or were equipped with counterfeit components.

Online trade with counterfeit goods uncovered in Hesse
More than 150 as‑new, suspected counterfeit clothing items and accessories, allegedly from around a dozen well‑known manufacturers, were seized by the Wiesbaden criminal police in February. A woman is believed to have operated a counterfeiting trade on the Internet from a single‑family home there. The police investigation had already started in the fall of 2022. Now, the 34‑year‑old suspect is facing charges for violating trademark law.

Customs seizes counterfeits on A8 motorway
When inspecting a van from Bulgaria, investigators of the main customs office in Ulm, southern Germany, seized more than one hundred suspected counterfeit garments and handbags on the A8 autobahn. Using a mobile X‑ray machine, the officers had noticed suitcases and bags containing conspicuously homogeneous goods. The customs investigators finally uncovered the counterfeit clothing and bags in the luggage.

Vienna: Tens of thousands of counterfeits intercepted
Austrian customs intercepted a shipment of nearly 45,000 counterfeit products at Vienna Airport. According to information released in early March, customs officials had stopped a total of 73 cartons coming from China for onward transport via Austria to Poland in January. The shipment, weighing more than two tonnes, contained thousands of fake sunglasses, cell phone accessories, and other counterfeit items, authorities said.

Customs active at ISH sanitary trade fair
Customs seized more than 150 suspected counterfeit goods and catalogs at this year’s International Sanitary and Heating Trade Fair ISH in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. They also initiated a total of nine investigative proceedings, significantly fewer than at the last exhibition before the coronavirus pandemic. “In 2019, 25 investigative proceedings were initiated at this exhibition for violations of trademark, design, and patent laws, so a significant decrease can be seen this year,” commented Tanja Ackermann, spokesperson of the Darmstadt Main Customs Office. The confiscated items included goods such as shower heads, hand showers, and pumps.

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