A Belgian producer has once again been convicted of illegal trademark and copyright infringement in connection with the CC Container, the European standard for pot plant transportation, supplied by the Dutch / Danish company Container Centralen A/S. Last month, the high court in Belgium confirmed the verdict from the 2009 appeal case in a local court.
Container Centralen is the market leader within horticultural logistics in Europe and their CC Container – a pot plant trolley – is the preferred transportation standard in the European horticultural industry. This makes it a particularly popular item among fraudsters. Since the beginning of its activities in 1976, the company has therefore monitored the markets closely for imitations of the identification tags on the company‟s products. Container Centralen is responsible for maintaining the almost 4 million CC Containers in circulation in Europe and any illegal labelling of the product therefore results in additional maintenance costs on the non-original trolleys, which are of lower quality than the genuine products.
No escape through bankruptcy
Container Centralen approves of the high court conviction in this second appeal as, once again, it confirms that the owner is personally liable and has to pay damages in the amount of €1.5 million. The verdict shows that fraudsters cannot simply declare their company bankrupt and then expect to continue their illegal activities under a different company name. The Belgium producer has decided not to try a third appeal case.
-„It is very reassuring that the high court confirms the decision of the local court to hold the perpetrators personally responsible for their actions,‟ says Container Centralen CEO, Tonny Vangsgaard Gravesen. –„It sends a clear signal to others who may try to engage in similar activities.‟
RFID solution implemented in 2011
In January 2011, Container Centralen implemented the use of RFID (electronic labelling) on all the CC Containers in the European horticultural industry. This was the fifth so-called labelling operation of this product, which has been in use since 1976. The new identification tags consist of a red plastic “padlock” with a unique RFID chip inside. Developed in collaboration with IBM, this tag is impossible to copy and Container Centralen can now easily identify any imitation tags used on illegal copy trolleys of poor quality. The company will thereby avoid incurring extra costs on the repair and maintenance of these items.