Warning issued over counterfeit Disney bracelets
Updated: 2014-12-01

Parents have been issued with a warning in the run up to Christmas after reports of counterfeit Disney bracelets that have allegedly been causing harm to children.

The accessories, known as 'snap bracelets', are available on online auction sites and are made up of a flat steel spring band sealed with a plastic cover that wraps around a wrist when slapped against a forearm.

Unlike more expensive versions, these bracelets, which are themed with images from the Disney film Frozen, have a very thin layer of plastic that is likely to rip and expose a sharp cut-up piece of metal measuring tape.

Following concerns raised by parents in the UK, the Trading Standards team at Nottinghamshire County Council has been informed of the issue and has warned parents of the dangers of counterfeits.

Jeremy Blum, partner in the brands team at law firm Bristows, said the case was an example of the "broad range" of goods that counterfeiters were selling.

"Traditionally, online consumers might be aware of the perils of purchasing luxury products on the internet and at e-commerce sites but this demonstrates that nearly every popular product could be a target for counterfeiters," he told WIPR.

Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of community safety committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, told the Nottingham Post newspaper: "As Frozen merchandise is the latest craze this Christmas, many parents are struggling to find items for sale and may be tempted to buy counterfeit versions online.

"Cheap toys from outside the European Union available from online auction sites are often not well made and have not undergone any safety tests so can be lethal for children to handle."

Blum added that while e-commerce is convenient, it is important for consumers to check the profiles of sellers, review customer feedback and to consider the location of the seller.

Patricia Collis, trademark attorney at Bird & Bird, added that the case highlighted both the physical dangers of counterfeits as well as the damage caused to brands.

"It is precisely to avoid this type of incident that brands protect their trademarks and rely on them to prevent counterfeit products going on the market. This is a more difficult task when dealing with the internet than it was in the past because most purchases were made in person," Collis said.

(Source: WIPR)

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