31/03/2011 Wedemark

Sale of fake famous brand audio equipment in Guangdong brought to an end

In September 2010, responding to reports by companies Harman, Sennheiser, Shure and Audio-Technica (acting to uphold their rights), Guangdong Public Security Department supervised a criminal investigation by Jiangmen City Police into Enping City Meipai Electronic Audio Factory, which was suspected of selling fake audio equipment under famous brand names. On October 28, after meticulous investigation, Jiangmen City Police launched a crackdown operation, raiding the above-mentioned large-scale fake goods den and three other storage dens in one swoop. They broke up a fake goods gang of considerable size and seized over 1200 items of audio equipment, including microphones, loudspeakers, power amplifiers, and mixers, all marked falsely with the above-mentioned trademarks. The money involved was over 3.5 million RMB, and the principal suspects were detained on the spot. It has been established that the gang, operating under the name “New Dynamics Audio Equipment Factory”, used the internet as a platform to sell huge quantities of fake audio equipment under famous brand names. By the time the case was cracked, sales had already reached 1.8 million RMB. On December 5 2010, after authorization by Enping City People’s Procuratorate, Enping City Public Security Bureau arrested four of the suspects.

This operation effectively curbed market circulation of fake low quality goods, retrieved huge economic losses, and successfully upheld the legal rights of the brand names involved.

“The active fight against brand and product piracy is extremely important to us in order to enable us to protect the brand and our customers and avoid the sale/purchase of counterfeit equipment. The purchase of counterfeits can be avoided by buying through our network of authorised Sennheiser retailers. This means we can ensure that our customers purchase genuine Sennheiser products and that the quality of the product is guaranteed. With this intensive crackdown in Enping, we have succeeded in a very important mission designed to protect our intellectual property and consequently, the company too," said Volker Bartels, Sennheiser’s President of Corporate Services, spokesperson of the Executive Management Board.

"Al Hershner, Vice President of Shure’s Americas and Asia Business Units, said: “Counterfeit products damage our entire industry. We collaborate with other highly-reputable audio manufacturers to take a strong and united stance against counterfeiters. We are deeply committed to protecting our brand and ensuring that our customers receive a genuine Shure product every time they purchase an item bearing the Shure brand. As a manufacturer, we do not want our trademark appearing on poor quality copies produced illegally, and we will pursue enforcement action in the very best interests of protecting our customers, as well as our brand. Consumers should be highly suspicious of any ‘factory direct’ deals and unreasonably low prices. Whether these offers are found at retail outlets or online, our customers need to know that if something seems too good to be true, it’s almost certainly bogus.”

“We’re very pleased to join forces with other partners across the audio industry to take actions against those counterfeit manufacturers of branded audio equipment. Unfortunately, counterfeiting is not a new issue in the audio industry or indeed in any successful global enterprise. Because our customers expect and deserve the highest level of satisfaction when purchasing HARMAN audio products, we actively monitor the counterfeit market and have processes in place to address this challenge. As part of our commitment to the integrity and quality of HARMAN technology and products, we have and continue to increase our resources to prevent potential damage to our brands and to our customers as a result of counterfeiting. Because counterfeiting is a criminal activity, we work with law enforcement agencies worldwide whenever those agencies decide to take action against those who would profit by this illegal conduct. We can’t stress enough the importance to HARMAN customers and channel partners of procuring equipment only from HARMAN authorized channels. This is a serious issue that we are diligently fighting every day to ensure our customers receive only genuine HARMAN audio products.", said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Chairman President and CEO.

“We are pleased at Audio-Technica of our collaboration with other major brands the action against counterfeits manufacturers and traders. This collaboration aims to safeguard the public buying genuine products. Our brand image and our successes are due to quality product and warranty services from our organization, action against product piracy is essential in order to protect the customer experience who believe very often that he is using genuine product. Visual appearance of the counterfeit products does not guarantee neither the audio quality nor the long term use; when one day the customer will realize that he/she does not have an original product, his/her disappointment will be somehow associated to our brand ; this is not acceptable for Audio-Technica.” Commented by Ryuji Haraguchi, Director of Audio-Technica Corporation, Japan/General Manager International Department.