FEA TURE STOR Y /
is a problem that benefits enormously from information sharing. Reach out to confirm it is counterfeit and then let them know where it came from. If it’s determined that the counterfeit presents a potential safety issue, prod- uct safety law provides for a recall under certain circumstances.” Silcox noted that distributors may be reluctant to identify the source, but in his experience, manufacturers want to incentivize distributors that help them identify counterfeits and there- fore don’t act punitively. Grace agreed that manufacturers see addressing the source of counter- feit products as the primary concern. “Distributors should have an internal procedure on how to handle counter- feit products, and part of that should be contacting the manufacturer in- volved,” he said. “The best thing to do is avoid the problem in the first place. Companies usually find them- selves in this position over trying to save a few hundred bucks. It’s not worth it.” “It is important for the distributor to verify that it is providing authentic product from an authorized source,” explained Donato. “One of the keys in confirming whether a product has a factory warranty or just a reseller war- ranty is the traceability of the product. If a distributor is sourcing product from a company that is not an autho- rized source, it runs the risk of losing that traceability. “ Once the distributor has notified the manufacturer and confirmed the product is counterfeit, Silcox recom- mended a voluntary recall, but he explained that recalls often have lim- ited success. “Products that are still in the warehouse or on the shelves can usually be returned, but once they’ve been installed, it’s difficult to get those back,” he said. “That can be a potential liability issue for the dis- tributor and contractor down the road if those products are involved in an accident or fire later on.” ; Katarsky is a freelance business writer based in Philadelphia. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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Up-To-Date Info on
One key to avoiding counterfeit
product in the marketplace is
staying informed. The first step
in that process is monitoring
websites, apps, and other communication tools provided by
manufacturers regarding known
counterfeits and how to identify
them or verify a product’s legitimacy. In addition, here are other
credible resources from public
and private organizations:
• iprcenter.gov. This site is
run by the National Intellectual
Property Rights Coordination
Center, a joint project of the
U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement and Homeland
Security Investigations. It provides information on global intellectual property rights and
enforcement of international
• industries.ul.com/anti-counterfeiting-solutions. The
site for UL (Underwriters Laboratories) provides a wealth of
resources and information on
counterfeiting as well as testing,
certifications, and other relevant
04.pdf. This article from UL provides specific information on how
to identify a counterfeit UL
295. The nonprofit Electrical Safety Foundation International provides a survey,
an infographic, and other information regarding counterfeit
electrical products and the risks
they pose. —C.K.