USA: DuPont has finally released details of an action it completed last year against Chinese refrigerant counterfeiters which resulted in fines and damages of over $70,000.
Following a two-year investigation, a judicial settlement was reached in August when Quzhouzhou Fuming Co of Quzhou City, Zhejiang Province, was required to pay the equivalent of $39,400 to the Chinese government and to pay $32,000 in damages and court costs to DuPont.
In 2009, a distributor alerted DuPont to potential counterfeiting of DuPont's Suva and Freon brands. With assistance from a local law firm, DuPont requested that local authorities conduct a raid of the suspected counterfeit facility. A raid action in late September 2011 resulted in seizure of 1,500 empty refrigerant cylinders with Suva and Freon packaging, 1,000 counterfeit labels and 1,000 counterfeit DuPont Freon R22 cylinders.
After the raid, DuPont issued cease-and-desist letters, however, the company did not respond to the request and continued to sell the counterfeit refrigerants. DuPont then filed a legal action against those responsible.
The company is now under a permanent injunction to not sell DuPont refrigerants or engage in counterfeit activities involving DuPont trademarks going forward. As part of the sentence, the judge also required the company to post a formal public apology in two Chinese newspapers.