All for a good cause
Fake Fiorellis and ersatz Armanis confiscated as evidence in California counterfeiting cases can now do some good after the criminal trials are over. In October, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a new law allowing trademark owners to donate to charities the phony items sold under their names.
Ruth Schwartz, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Shelter Partnership, says the new law will allow her organization, a clearinghouse of donated goods, to acquire some of the $2 billion worth of sham toys and clothes sold in Los Angeles County every year, and then pass those items on to families or individuals affected by homelessness. “The idea that all those goods were being destroyed while service agencies struggled to meet a growing demand for basic goods was unbelievable,” said Schwartz, who had approached state Sen. Gilbert Cedillo with the idea for the new law.