LAS VEGAS - Empire Level is not messing around when it comes to eliminating counterfeiting of its iconic torpedo level. Today at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Empire served a complaint and summons to eight Chinese companies participating in counterfeiting efforts against Empire. The ongoing counterfeiting led to the Mukwonago, WI-based level company taking legal action while the Chinese companies were on American soil.
The Empire legal counsel scoured the National Hardware Show floor for companies displaying the infringing product and took photos that will be used in legal proceedings. Empire is seeking an immediate temporary restraining order from a Las Vegas federal judge to end any displays of the counterfeit goods at the show and a seizure of the goods.
The eight companies being charged with counterfeiting are: Wuxi Just Int’l Trading Company, Jinhua Shunchi Tools Factory, Zhejiang YongKang Shiya Wanxin Tools Factory, Zhejiang Boda Measure Tools Co. Ltd., Shaoxing Sunway Tools & Hardware Import & Export Co. Ltd., Cixi Ocean Trade Co. Ltd., and Toolrich Corporation.
“Not only do these counterfeiters hurt our business and our brand,” said President of Empire Level Jenni Becker, “they are a threat to our economy and American jobs. We refuse to sit still and allow the distinctive features of our products to be knocked off. It’s damaging to our company and it’s not fair to the end customer who believes they’re getting a superior product when they’re not.”
Empire’s attorney Peter Jansson of Jansson Munger McKinley & Shape Ltd, conveyed that the efforts being made will likely lead to early judgments and a permanent exclusion order against the named defendants. All legal proceedings are expected to be complete within two months.
In an additional measure to keep counterfeit levels from entering the United States, Empire has been working with U.S. Customs, training customs agents about the infringement. The Customs facility has now been trained to seize any infringing goods that come into the country. With this added scrutiny in place, any foreign company that seeks to sell knockoffs of the Empire torpedo level will be proceeding at their own financial peril, as U.S. Customs will seize the goods. If the goods make it into the country, U.S. companies selling the products will face legal claims and lawsuits as necessary. In most cases, U.S. sellers have been quick to discontinue selling the counterfeit product and pay damages, and in some cases destroy the counterfeit goods.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.