Raid against product pirates with customs investigators
Estimates put the annual losses in the order of 30 billion euros, with around 70,000 jobs at risk throughout Germany: “Product piracy is not a petty offense, and this is why we have been taking rigorous action against intellectual property theft for years,” said Richard Grohe, Deputy Chairman of Hansgrohe AG (www.hansgrohe.com). Accompanied by customs officers and patent attorneys, the bathroom and sanitation specialist from the Black Forest arranged for four mixers and two showerheads copied off Hansgrohe designs to be confiscated at the worlds biggest sanitation trade fair, the ISH in Frankfurt.
“The damage our company sustains as a result of counterfeit copies amounts to between five and ten percent of total sales,” according to Richard Grohe. “At the same time, it stops us from creating around 100 new jobs.”
The consequences for the product pirates could be considerable, ranging from the closure of their trade fair booths and the payment of damages all the way through to criminal proceedings. The zero-tolerance stance taken by Hansgrohe AG is evidently showing results: the number of product pirates is clearly in decline in 2011. At the ISH 2009, Hansgrohe AG and customs had discovered counterfeit products at no fewer than ten booths..