Japanese pump manufacturer Tsurumi has successfully prosecuted a company importing replicas of its products into Europe. As a result of the action, the fake products were destroyed, and Tsurumi says it will now pursue other companies infringing its intellectual property rights.
In the Tsurumi found that its products and user manuals had been copied by FengYuan Pump Industry Co. Ltd (FY Pumps), a Chinese manufacturer. These products had been sold to, among others, an Italian distributor that cannot be named for legal reasons. Tsurumi was able to sue the distributor and have the offending products destroyed.
The company's lawyer, Dr Reinhard Nacke of FPS Rechtsanwälte & Notare said, "Tsurumi has been dealing with imitated pumps appearing on the market for many years. In 2004, for example, we stopped the distribution of Taiwanese copies by bringing charges against an English importer and settling through an out-of-court action.
"Now we have stepped in against an Italian importer and within a couple of days court injunctions were in place. The Bologna court's verdict once again highlights many European courts support of a zero tolerance policy against counterfeiters, whether in cases of patent violation or even in cases where not industrial property right is registered."
Daniel Weippert, managing director of Tsurumi Europe added, "The imitated pumps frankly were noticeably weaker than Tsurumi's originals. The cast iron casing, for example, had visible air pockets with small pores and bubbles. Poor overall build quality was highlighted through loose screws, unsealed joints - which were not made watertight - and unreliable motors."
The case was prosecuted on the basis of copyright infringements. In addition to copying designs, FY Pumps copied Tsurumi's operating manuals verbatim. The company also used almost identical names for the copied products - Tsurumi's KTZ series became the KBZ series from FY Pumps.