Wood Group Claims Secretive Six-Figure Infringement Settlement

By Rich Christianson | Posted: 12/06/2012 9:53PM


FEDERAL WAY, WA - The Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau (PLIB) said it has reached a "confidential settlement, valued in the six-figure range," with an unnamed Louisiana company for unauthorized use of its certification stamp.

ISPM 15 logo The settlement preempted plans by the PLIB to file a lawsuit.

The PLIB said the settlement relates to the unauthorized use of its trademarked stamp that identifies dunnage material certified under the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 (ISPM 15). The PLIB said the the ISPM 15 program helps protect the health of the world’s forests by restricting the inadvertent transportation of forest pests in the wood used for packaging and dunnage in international shipments. Cmmon types of packaging certified under the program include pallets, boxes, crates and dunnage. Approximately 45 countries require wood packaging to be ISPM 15 compliant. Canada is among countries that are expected to adopt the measure in the future.

PLIB offered the following explanation of why the Louisiana company ripped off its trademark stamp for fulfilling a wood export transaction. "The company learned that the dunnage (lumber used to fill voids in the cargo area of ships) it was using required ISPM 15 certification. Rather than subscribe to a certification service to provide the necessary inspections and certification stamps, PLIB believes that the company instead chose to illegally reproduce the PLIB stamp and use it to gain access to overseas markets. The company was found to be using the unauthorized stamps at multiple facilities. The settlement amount was significantly more than the company would have paid had it subscribed to a certification service."



About the Author

Rich Christianson

Rich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at rchristianson@woodworkingnetwork.com or follow him on Google+.

Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

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