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Epson Increases Anti-Counterfeit Enforcement in Latin America to Protect Consumers

14 Jun, 2002

Epson Increases Anti-Counterfeit Enforcement in Latin America to Protect Consumers

Epson's Latin American Marketing Division announced that its anti-counterfeit campaign is successfully reducing the distribution of counterfeit ink cartridges and ribbons in Latin America. Epson is deploying a two-prong attack with enforcement focused on export centers for counterfeits in the U.S. and distributors of counterfeits in countries throughout Latin America.


In the U.S., exports of counterfeits to Latin America are being reduced by repeated U.S. Customs seizures and consistent civil enforcement against distributors. In August 2001, Epson participated with other brand owners in counterfeit recognition training organized by the U.S. Customs Service for hundreds of U.S. Customs Inspectors of export shipments. Since then, seizures of exported counterfeit Epson printer supplies have increased dramatically, particularly in export ports to Latin America. Recently, Epson learned of yet another U.S. Customs seizure in South Florida of $200,000 worth of counterfeit ink cartridges destined for Guatemala.


In the past year, Epson has also increased market vigilance in those areas of the U.S. known for export sales and has filed civil enforcement actions against numerous defendants in U.S. District Courts in Southern California and Southern Florida. In April 2002, Epson filed yet another action in the U.S. District Court in San Diego against two additional distributors of counterfeit ink cartridges.


Epson has also increased cooperation with law enforcement officials throughout Latin America. In the past year, customs and law enforcement authorities have repeatedly seized counterfeit Epson printer supplies throughout Latin America, including seizures in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. For example, in March 2002, police officers in Sao Paulo, Brazil conducted a massive campaign to seize counterfeit Epson printer supplies at 25 retail locations, including stores operated by one of Brazil's largest office supplies distributors.


Similarly, in May 2002, more than 40 police officers and officials from the Mexican Attorney General's office seized counterfeit Epson ink cartridges at 17 locations in downtown Mexico City.


Epson is benefiting from the increased commitment of law enforcement officials throughout Latin America to protect consumers and legitimate distributors from counterfeiters. "When we organized our Latin American anti-counterfeit program, we had concerns whether or not counterfeit enforcement would be a priority for law enforcement officials in that region," added Jose Ramos, service manager, Epson Latin America. "Actually, police and prosecutors in Latin America have uniformly requested more cooperation and support from Epson for their efforts to protect consumers and legitimate businesses from counterfeit trafficking. We have no doubt that they will continue to support this program."


This article is excerpted from CAP Ventures Communications Supplies Weekly. For more information visit their website.

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