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Police take down plagiarism ­warehouse in Vietnam
February 2018, News


Asian product pirates are as creative as they are unscrupulous with copies of known brand names. WIKA is also affected, which is why the company has taken legal action against the perpetrators. This requires uncompromising action, as demonstrated in the incident of the pressure gauge copies that were produced in China and emerged in Vietnam. This case was awarded the Plagiarius trophy 2017.

Thanks to its widespread customer and distributor network, WIKA is notified relatively quickly of possible product piracies. This was also the case in Vietnam, where a dealer in Ho Chi Minh City was offering alleged WIKA pressure gauges, which turned out to be fake.

External storage

This prompted WIKA to perform a test purchase in order to prove the dealer’s guilt. First, he disappeared for 10 minutes, probably in order to fetch the goods from an external warehouse. In order to determine the storage site, a second test purchase was performed in which a person entrusted by WIKA followed the dealer. Given the severity of the case, WIKA decided to have the storage site raided by police. This had to take place rapidly, in order to prevent a possible clearance of the facility. The Vietnamese Economic Police were persuaded of the necessity to act quickly and raided the place. The result was more than 1000 confiscated instruments and the institution of legal proceedings against the dealer.

The suspect’s connection to a large dealer network kept suspicion alive and so, six months later, another test purchase was made. Usually, Asian dealers lose interest in distributing imitations after the first contact with the police because their fear of loss of face is too great. All the greater the surprise then that in this case the raid had been insufficient: the dealer was now offering ‘VIKA’ instruments. Moreover, his intention was to register VIKA as a trademark in Vietnam.

Written apology

WIKA immediately ordered another raid and requested the deletion of the trademark VIKA. However, the second step required an expert opinion that the label VIKA and the WIKA imitations represented an infringement against the trademark rights, which was successful. In the meantime, the dealer in question has apologised in writing and promised to stay away from imitations in the future.


Credit(s)
Supplied By: WIKA Instruments
Tel: +27 11 621 0000
Fax: +27 11 621 0060/59
Email: sales@wika.co.za
www: www.wika.co.za
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