Author Topic: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...  (Read 8581 times)

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Offline Phaedrus

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You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« on: October 25, 2013, 06:27:38 pm »
So my company sells power supplies. Imagine our surprise, when we find this floating around Oz land:





Vs. our old logo (no longer used):



They also market it on ebay under the name of two of our old product lines, "GX" and "Extreme Power", both mostly EOL.

OEM is Chicony. The PSU itself is mediocre, and the wattage is overrated about 40-50%, but it's not absolute trash.





What is it with Australia and counterfeit products? Is it the laws there being less harsh on counterfeiters, or are Australians just more likely to fall for it or not care?
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Offline Stonent

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 06:55:30 pm »
Honestly if I saw that I might assume it was a division of Cooler Master because of the logo.
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 06:57:12 pm »
Honestly if I saw that I might assume it was a division of Cooler Master because of the logo.

That's the idea.
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 10:04:13 pm »
Are these "Cooler Power" units only found in the Australian market?
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 10:08:50 pm »
Yes. We looked for them in Latin America and Asia as well. There are plenty of fake CM fans all over Taiwan and China, but no fake CM power supplies, except in Australia.


The distributor at fault is powertek.com.au
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Online EEVblog

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 10:15:56 pm »
What is it with Australia and counterfeit products? Is it the laws there being less harsh on counterfeiters, or are Australians just more likely to fall for it or not care?

Nothing can be done unless the supply doesn't meet the relevant safety standards. We have quite strict standards for importing mains products, and it easy to be shut down/fined or whatever for importing unsafe products, or ones that don't meet the various standards.
But if a product does meet the various standards, and is simply an issue of branding/trademark infringement then that has nothing to do with the government, the company would have to take up their own law suit to stop it in that case.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 10:19:27 pm »
Honestly if I saw that I might assume it was a division of Cooler Master because of the logo.

Perhaps, but they aren't using the same name, so it would have to come down to a trademark lawsuit. CoolerMaster would have to prove in court that the logo (or name) violates their trademarks. To stop the dealer importing it, they would at least need a court injunction.
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 10:24:17 pm »
Well, the lawyers are loading up their guns legal briefs now, so I guess it'll be up to the courts. Or however intimidating we can be.  :box:


It should be easy to prove in court that's trademark infringement. Since their logo is literally the logo off one of our older power supplies, with "Master" shopped off and replaced with "Power"

The font of "Cooler", and the shape of the hexagon, and the color choice (compared to our old power supplies) are all identical. Open and shut; if Ozzie courts are more intelligent than US ones, at any rate.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 10:42:56 pm by Phaedrus »
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Offline Stonent

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 10:54:56 pm »
Yesterday while at work I was checking Aliexpress for something and for the heck of it, dropped in our company name and found at least a dozen key generators for some software we write. It just so happens one of the guys from that group that does that software was in town at our facility helping with a rollout and I showed him. He told me to forward the link to another person and the e-mail response was basically "I'm about to put a whole bunch of people out of business"

I'm reasonably certain that this software doesn't cost money to the licensed dealers of our product since they are licensed dealers and they've paid for that already, but it might be of benefit to an independent person trying to service our equipment. But the down side is with it they could change some parameters in it to make it operate in a way that is illegal. (Violating laws related to safety or other standards which vary around the world)
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Online EEVblog

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 11:14:49 pm »
It should be easy to prove in court that's trademark infringement. Since their logo is literally the logo off one of our older power supplies, with "Master" shopped off and replaced with "Power"
The font of "Cooler", and the shape of the hexagon, and the color choice (compared to our old power supplies) are all identical. Open and shut; if Ozzie courts are more intelligent than US ones, at any rate.

Sure, but you still have to go through the motions, which costs time and money. And until then the distributor is free to sell it. Unless they are scared of nasty letters.
And also remember that the distributor is likely just importing and selling, they probably aren't the ones slapping the label on. Our market here usually isn't big enough to do that locally.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 11:19:54 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 11:18:11 pm »
In this case I think it is local. If it were a China thing then we'd see it in more markets, plus the English on the label would probably be much more incomprehensible. Also, the OEM is large, not some small-time, back-yard sweatshop. Australia isn't a small market. If that disty can manage a 1000 unit MOQ every few months, then it's very possible this is local.

I certainly don't think that Chicony is doing it. They're far too large to bother violating our trademark, plus we've had favorable relations in the past, on an OEM/ODM basis.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2013, 11:20:34 pm »
In this case I think it is local. If it were a China thing then we'd see it in more markets, plus the English on the label would probably be much more incomprehensible. Also, the OEM is large, not some small-time, back-yard sweatshop. Australia isn't a small market. If that disty can manage a 1000 unit MOQ every few months, then it's very possible this is local.

Yeah, maybe.
The other thing is, does your Trademark cover Australia? (they are country specific), if not, probably tough luck.
Also, and additional trademark must cover the "design" of your logo, because they aren't violating any name trademark.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 11:22:15 pm by EEVblog »
 

Online Shock

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 05:13:37 am »
"You Aussies keep counterfeiting us... "   misleading title of the year.

You are from Cooler Master so that means Taiwan right, nothing counterfeit has ever come out of there, right?  Or are you a clerk at best buy?
The real joke is I've always considered Cooler Master a marginal brand at best, it's not like they are the purveyors of originality and their quality has been questionable as well.

In fact I've stayed away from Cooler Master completely until recently when I brought a case (without the power supply).  It has dust filters in it left, right and center and low and behold they are all non detachable.  A pile of dust collecting plastic garbage.


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Offline Vgkid

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2013, 05:44:17 am »
Cooler Master has stepped up their game atleast with psu's lately, judging from the reviews.
BTW Phaedrus is a CM rep on the power supply side judging from his user name on another forum/website I read 
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Offline Phaedrus

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2013, 06:18:55 am »
Dry humor doesn't always translate to text I guess. Glad we're still the punching bag though!
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Offline Psi

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2013, 06:38:27 am »
There's a "Thermal Master" for sale at pbtech new zealand
http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=PSUTRM0350

but at least they're not copying the logo.


A large percentage of the New Zealand PC market is run by people who've moved to NZ from Asian countries. Being familiar with the language and culture they're able to negotiate much better deals directly rather than going through the local agent.
As a result, a lot of the PC parts we get are imported directly from Asia to the retail store, weird brandnames are quite common as well as the occasionally dodgy copy.

I'm not sure if the situation is similar in AUS, they tend to have tigther immigration restrictions
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 06:47:08 am by Psi »
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Online Shock

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2013, 07:39:08 am »
I would say the majority of the PC parts business in Australia has ties in the distribution chain to Hong Kong and possibly over recent years more mainland China.  It makes sense because that market has regionally been a close neighbor.  Crap power supplies have been the bane of the industry for almost like an eternity now.  Certain brands have a lot of skeletons in their closet.  While Cooler Master has probably lost a couple of sales to this logo look alike, they have made up for it on the volume of sales they made in Australia's isolated market due to quality brands like Sea Sonic never been heavily promoted here.

If anyone is interested I'm using an Antec Truepower 750, in the past I've used Sea Sonic and Aopen (rebranded FSP) but I swapped to Antec and have been using them for a long time perhaps 15 years?  I'm not biased towards them I just don't need to change.  I always over-spec and leave 20% headroom.  As I leave a PC on 24/7 this current power supply has logged close to 22000 hours.

I'm a great believer in cheap gear.  Just not when it takes out your whole PC.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 08:50:05 am by Shock »
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Offline Psi

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2013, 09:15:22 am »
hehe, I saw a SeaSonic PSU in a local shop for the first time a few weeks back.
Figured it must be a dodgy no-name brand since i'd never head of it before.
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Online vk6zgo

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2013, 10:45:04 am »
Yeah,brand names & trademarks are pretty much registered country by country,unless there is an agreement between the countries.
One of our two largest shopping chains,Woolworths,is no relation to the  company of that name in the USA.
Way back,some sharpie dived in & registered the name,& the rest is history.
 

Offline mianchen

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2013, 11:08:34 am »
There was a Woolworths chain in the UK, died a few years ago. Not the same as the Aussie one i guess?

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Offline amyk

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2013, 11:24:47 am »
There's also this: http://www.terra-master.com/en/index.html :-DD

The laws for trademarks and such are a lot more lax in China and basically come down to one thing: is it the same? "Master" and "Power" are obviously different, so it's not the same brand. It's the exact opposite of things like Apple's design patents...
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 11:28:51 am by amyk »
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2013, 11:46:53 am »
It should be easy to prove in court that's trademark infringement. Since their logo is literally the logo off one of our older power supplies, with "Master" shopped off and replaced with "Power"
unless your company also has trademarked "cooler power", "GX" or/and "Extreme Power", you and your company are wasting your time filing infringment case money down the toilet drain. the last time i checked vk6zgo is right, trademarking is by country basis, so other countries still can use the same name, unless maybe you paid premium (i never check how) to make them "trademaked worldwide". in any case, "cooler power" is not "cooler master".
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Offline Circlotron

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2013, 12:00:27 pm »
In this case I think it is local. If it were a China thing then we'd see it in more markets, plus the English on the label would probably be much more incomprehensible. Also, the OEM is large, not some small-time, back-yard sweatshop. Australia isn't a small market. If that disty can manage a 1000 unit MOQ every few months, then it's very possible this is local.
If it were an Australian made unit then it would definitely have the c-tick compliance mark on it, as should any imported one.  -> http://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Suppliers/Supplier-resources/Supplier-overview/compliance-marks
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2013, 04:49:47 am »
There was a Woolworths chain in the UK, died a few years ago. Not the same as the Aussie one i guess?

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Yeah,I remember seeing them.

If I remember correctly,they were "F.H.Woolworths".
I was told that they were a genuine offshoot of the USA chain,but I don't know if that's correct.
If they had been tied up with the Oz one,they'd probably still be around,as "Woolies" are pretty savage competitors! ;D
 

Online IanB

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Re: You Aussies keep counterfeiting us...
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2013, 05:02:17 am »
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 


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