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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | HEARD ON THE BEAT / RETAIL

Oakley Cracks Down on Shady Competitors

April 18, 2001|LESLIE EARNEST

Trumpeting its "continued rampage" against counterfeiting operations worldwide, Oakley Inc. said more than 345 people were arrested and charged with violating the sunglass maker's intellectual property rights last year.

The Foothill Ranch company calls on public law enforcement and private investigators to track down counterfeiters locally and around the globe.

Oakley's vigilance resulted in the seizure of 736,751 fake products in 2000, mostly sunglasses. At an average cost of $15 for phony shades, that means more than $11 million was confiscated.

Since the company now also makes shoes, watches and apparel, Oakley is also scanning the horizon for bogus products in those categories.

The company's determination to rid the world of fake Oakley products also is paying off this year. Through March 31, an additional 178,930 pairs of fake sunglasses were confiscated, along with 6,100 shirts and 5,700 hats or caps, Oakley said.

Leslie Earnest covers retail businesses for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7832 and at leslie.earnest@latimes.com.

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