In 2009, a distributor alerted DuPont to potential counterfeiting of DuPont Suva and DuPont Freon brands. The information they provided led Dupont to suspect counterfeiting activity of Quzhouzhou Fuming Co. Ltd., in Quzhou City. With assistance from a local law firm, DuPont requested that local authorities conduct a raid of the suspected counterfeit facility. A raid action in late September 2011 resulted in the seizure of 1,500 empty refrigerant cylinders with DuPont Suva and Freon packaging, 1,000 counterfeit labels, and 1,000 counterfeit DuPont Freon R-22 cylinders.
After the raid, DuPont issued cease-and-desist letters, however, the company did not respond to the request and continued to sell the counterfeit refrigerants. In response, DuPont filed legal action against those responsible.
A court case was undertaken in China and a judicial settlement was reached in August 2012. The defendant was required to pay the equivalent of $39,400 to the Chinese government and $32,000 in damages and court costs to DuPont. The company is under a permanent injunction to not sell DuPont refrigerants or engage in counterfeit activities involving DuPont trademarks going forward. As part of the sentence, the judge also required the company to post a formal public apology in two Chinese newspapers.
“We will continue to combat counterfeiting of DuPont refrigerants, using assistance from local law enforcement, government officials, and customs organizations,” said Greg Rubin, DuPont global business manager. “This effort is ongoing and this case was an excellent example of cross-regional work between DuPont and our distributors. This is a collaborative effort. We can’t combat counterfeiting alone.”
Publication date: 1/21/2013