How I Lost 12.5 Pounds & Regained My Soul

Naked, as in truth, and uncensored, I share my daily quest to survive as a woman and artist, while dealing with the complications of a full life, meddling in politics, loving my children to excess, totally permanently married and on a never-ending diet. While my soul is in constant need of repair and redemption, I struggle to do the right thing. In the meantime, let's all double the love. (Love, not sex, you fool). All posts are copyrighted material.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Taking a trip to China with a plan to get some of those 'knock-offs'?

Good morning, my pink little warthogs~

Forget the antibiotics, the extra copies of documents, the cash hidden in your money belt. None of those things will help you one bit if you decide to buy some cheapie gifts for your grandkids while you're in China visiting your girlfriend.

Yup, Mike Korpi, father of three and grandpa of five, bought eight inexpensive Rolex watch knock-offs for under $15. He thought they'd get a kick out of the gift, and he wore one of them home just for fun.

Now this is not the first time I have seen or heard about the Rolex fakes. Many of them are American-made, which is still a copyright infringement, but would be a lot more difficult to get caught wearing.

Come to think of it, my friend Irene was very proud of hers and used to love flashing it around whether she was in her office or at the grocery market. (Might I add, as a fiesty, rather fearless lawyer occasionally involved in heated negotiations, she also carried a loaded handgun in her glove compartment, so it wasn't like she was a mark.)

There were also some guys I remember on the fringes of the Beverly Hills shopping areas - the infamous Los Angeles Farmer's Market on the corner of Third and Fairfax to be exact - who didn't quite have the raincoat with watches hanging inside, as immortalized in cartoons, but pretty close.

But that was during the old days when China didn't pirate films, videos or video games a week before they are even released in this country. China doesn't care about copyrights, by the way, or international trade rules or the concept of protecting another's property. The national belief that it is more important to feed its 1,248 billion citizens and provide for them than to protect the western industrialized world's pocket works for them.

Who could blame them, really.

But there is a new twist in this country. We may not protect our borders from terrorists or hurricanes, but the counterfeit Rolex? That's a priority for the U.S. Customs Service.

Again, ask Mike Korpi. Friday he got a bill from U.S. Customs for $55,300 as a punitive fine for violating Rolex's protected trademark.

As you can imagine, Mike hoped they'd made a mistake over the decimal point, but nope. Actually, thought it could be worse. If Rolex decided to proceed with an action against Mike for the eight watches he illegally bought and brought home, they could sue him for $100,000 for each infringment against their trademark, or $800,000!

How old Mike got caught might interest you. He was foolish enough to wear one of the watches, which caught the attention of the customs agent who then notified him that he would have to be searched for contraband. Mike 'fessed up to the other seven, which were taken, but he thought it was like trying to bring cashews into the country with the Department of Agriculture.

It would also be funny except Mike was patently in the wrong. My advice? Make sure the knock-off you buy doesn't sport the ripped off manufacturer's name, okay? And then don't come back from China wearing it.

Sorry, Mike, but this is why we need more money for education in America. We need to hip our citizens to the fact that not only do other countries have laws, ours does too.:) You should have taken that 'International Relations' class in high school, Mikey. Let's hope you have a really good attorney with a brother-in-law in the Customs Department. Ooops. I guess if anyone found out that would be another fine, wouldn't it?

Maybe you should pay the fine, Mike, and next time? Don't be so damn cheap. Buy the kids and grandkids the real thing.:) Heck, it might have ended up cheaper.

Clark County Diva


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