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Equipment Manufacturer Corners Suspected Counterfeiters

Eight Chinese companies, alleged to be manufacturing and selling counterfeit equipment, were uncovered by the legal team of a U.S. manufacturer at the recent National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

The exhibit floor at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas (2014) was the site of a recent gumshoe drama as legal counsel from the Empire Level company tracked down and documented what they felt were attempts at selling products that were counterfeited versions of one of their products.

Their efforts resulted in the issuance of complaints and summons to eight Chinese companies while these companies were still on American soil. Empire was 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 product in question is Empire's TrueBlue(R) torpedo level. 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 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 completed within two months.

In an additional measure to keep counterfeit levels from entering the United States, the level manufacturer has been working with U.S. Customs, training their agents to seize any infringing goods that come into the country.

According to the manufacturer, 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 products and pay damages, and in some cases destroy the counterfeit goods.

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January 20, 2019, 6:05 am PST

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