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DuPont identified Hangzhou Sporlan Heating and Refrigeration Company Ltd. as a potential counterfeiter through a tip from another refrigerant manufacturer. A raid of Hangzhou Sporlan facilities was performed by local law enforcement authorities and counterfeit cylinders and packaging were seized.
The investigation confirmed that these were counterfeit refrigerant cylinders carrying the trademarks DuPont™ and SUVA® as well as trademarks of another major manufacturer. The seizure resulted in confiscation of 300 units of counterfeit DuPont™ SUVA® 134a refrigerant.
A settlement was reached in July 2013, and as a consequence of the counterfeit activity, Hangzhou Sporlan was required to a pay damages to DuPont. In addition, Hangzhou Sporlan agreed to cease to use, advertise, or otherwise infringe on the DuPont™, SUVA®, and ISCEON® trademarks and word marks. The company also expressed in writing as part of the settlement agreement, its apology for any harm and loss caused to DuPont. Any breach of the agreement will result in additional damages and further prosecution by DuPont. In addition, the agreement required that Hangzhou Sporlan reveal to DuPont all suppliers and information associated with bulk refrigerants, cylinders, and carton packages of counterfeit goods so subsequent investigations can be pursued.
“We continue to aggressively pursue full legal action against counterfeiters who illegally use our trademarks,” said Greg Rubin, global business manager, DuPont Refrigerants. “Counterfeit refrigerants present a danger to the marketplace, in terms of potential safety and environmental issues, as well as the possibility of equipment failure. In addition, counterfeit refrigerants can include CFCs and HCFCs in containers marked as HFCs which raises an illegal import issue and can be in violation of international treaties, such as the Montreal Protocol.”
DuPont said it has developed a multi-faceted program to address counterfeit refrigerants including education of customs officials and deployment of overt and covert tactics to ensure the authenticity of DuPont refrigerants.
“We work with our global distribution network and with law enforcement in all regions to combat this illegal activity,” added Rubin. “Remember that when suspicious activity is observed in the marketplace to contact DuPont directly.”
For information on the DuPont Brand Assurance Anti-Counterfeiting Initiative, visit http://refrigerants.dupont.com/genuine. For more information on DuPont refrigerants, visit http://refrigerants.dupont.com.
Publication date: 10/14/2013