The Xeccon stand at Eurobike was yesterday raided by customs officials who enforced an injunction raised by Knog of Australia. Members of staff – two young Chinese women with a limited understanding of English and German – were frogmarched to ATMs to pay €500 in bonds.
Xeccon is a Chinese manufacturer which has been making “Knog-offs”, said Knog CEO Hugo Davidson. He claims Xeccon has been making and selling LED lights that were blatant copies of Knog’s best-selling Blinder lights. “They’re our bread-and-butter,” he said, adding that Xeccon was sent its first cease-and-desist letter six months ago.
Speaking by phone from her company’s HQ in Shenzhen, China, Xeccon CEO Amanda Li said the raid was a “not very nice surprise” and that she was trying to support her two staff as best she could. She added that she would also cooperate with customs officials.
“The [customs police] shocked my staff,” said Li. “My girls did everything that was asked of them.”
Knog’s German attorney served the injunction on Wednesday, seeking an immediate removal of the offending items from Xeccon’s booth, but as the company had failed to do by Thursday morning Davidson asked for the injunction to be enforced. The raid was carried out by two plain-clothes customs officials.
At the same time as the Eurobike raid a cease-and-desist letter was sent to Moore Large, Xeccon’s UK distributor. Moore Large had been Knog’s UK distributor until April this year following an eleven year partnership.