Counterfeit breakers: Square D imitations create hazards, claims Schneider Electric

Palatine, IL—Because of “serious health and safety hazards associated with counterfeit products,” Schneider Electric continues its commitment to pursuing those it says are selling and distributing counterfeit circuit breakers, the company noted, concerning three Oct. 30 statements. The company provides images of counterfeits.

11/08/2007


Palatine, IL —Because of “serious health and safety hazards associated with counterfeit products,”

Schneider Electric

continues its commitment to pursuing those it says are selling and distributing counterfeit circuit breakers, the company noted, concerning three Oct. 30 statements.

The company provides images of counterfeits

.

Square D

, the main U.S. brand for the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division, alleged that it uncovered tens of thousands of counterfeit Square D circuit breakers in the inventory of Breakers Unlimited of Noblesville, IN. The counterfeit circuit breakers, all bearing trademarks registered to Square D, were discovered by Square D during the prosecution of its lawsuit against Breakers Unlimited in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, Schneider Electric said.

In a statement provided by the company, the lawsuit asserts that Breakers Unlimited, a nationwide wholesale distributor of electrical equipment, has knowingly sold counterfeit Square D circuit breakers and has infringed Square D’s trademarks in violation of federal law. Sources independent of Breakers Unlimited have confirmed the majority of the counterfeit circuit breakers discovered in Breakers Unlimited’s Noblesville warehouse were sold to Breakers Unlimited by Pioneer Breaker & Control Supply of Austin, TX, Schneider Electric continued. Of the more than 50,000 products acquired by Breakers Unlimited from Pioneer Breaker & Control since May 2005, more than 20,000 have been sold in the field by Breakers Unlimited, who has told Square D it has no way to determine from its records to whom it sold the products, the Schneider Electric statement continues.

“Counterfeit products are inferior in quality and pose risks to the public. They can fail to trip in the event of an overload or a short circuit, thereby creating a risk of fire. Anyone choosing to deal in the marketplace where these counterfeit goods are sold is potentially putting people and property in danger,” said Bill Snyder, vice president of channel development at Square D.

Schneider Electric recommends that “to prevent potential purchase of counterfeit products, purchases should be made from authorized Square D distributors, who have the skill, expertise and know-how to provide customers with authentic Square D products and services that meet their needs and specifications.”

In related news, Square D says it obtained an injunction against Miami Breaker and General Breaker & Panel to prevent sale of counterfeit products.

Square D also says it obtained an injunction against Maine Circuit Breaker to prevent sale of counterfeit products.

North American Operating Division, one of four of Schneider Electric, had sales of $3.7 billion in 2006, said the company, headquartered in Paris, France. Other brands include

Telemecanique

and

Merlin Gerin

brand products. Total 2006 sales were approximately $17.2 billion.

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
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