GERMANY: Bitzer has restated its intention to crackdown on counterfeiters after forcing the removal of fake compressors from a stand at the AHR Expo earlier this year.
In announcing its 2104 financial figures last week, the German compressor manufacturer said it would be taking a more proactive approach to dealing with counterfeit products around the world in 2015. It also announced the intention to add verifiable QR codes to its compressors in order to make it easier for users to tell originals and counterfeit products apart.
It has also been revealed that Bitzer forced the removal of counterfeit products from the stand of a Chinese exhibitor at the AHR exhibition in Chicago at the end of January. Bitzer’s lawyers issued a cease and desist letter on exhibitor Dongyang Weihua Refrigerants Co Ltd, forcing the removal of the offending products. The two offending exhibits – blue-coloured counterfeits of Bitzer Octagon compressors – were seen as a clear violation of Bitzer’s patent and other intellectual rights.
While incidents of product counterfeiting have been plaguing air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturers for some time, last year Bitzer revealed that it had been observing an increase in product piracy among the company’s compressors, spare parts and pressure vessels.
Promising a hard line against counterfeiters, the company said that counterfeits had become a mass phenomenon and that it was increasingly taking legal action against them. “Suppliers of such products are always thrown out of trade fairs and have to remove Bitzer logos immediately,” the company said. “That’s because we’re dealing with a network of counterfeiters and distributors who sell very authentic-looking copies all over the world.”
It is believed that Bitzer first introduced QR codes on all products coming out of its factory in Indonesia in 2013.