Landmark legal victory in China

Honeywell has won a landmark legal victory in China against a company producing counterfeit ‘Garrett’ turbochargers.

The criminal conviction of the Assistant President of a company in Fengcheng (China), sends a strong signal to other would-be counterfeiters of Honeywell’s determination to protect its intellectual property.

The decision by The People’s Court of the Fengcheng City, Liaoning Province, resulted from a year-long legal battle and represents a significant break-through against such criminal activity. The court handed down a one year jail sentence and imposed a fine of RMB100K (around US$15K). No appeal was filed either by the defendant or by the prosecutor, so the judgment became effective immediately.

The case rested on Honeywell’s assertion that the offending company was a repeat offender in producing counterfeit “Garrett” turbochargers. The most recent seizure was conducted in April 2009 and involved 166 sets off fake “Garrett” turbochargers and rotors, the biggest- ever quantity from a single raid.

Ed Goodwin, Director of Global Aftermarket, Turbo Technologies, said that the criminal conviction was very encouraging and acted as a significant deterrent in an area well-known for producing counterfeit “Garrett” turbochargers in China. As a result of this criminal prosecution, together with other enforcement and educational efforts, there have been no new incidences of “Garrett” counterfeiting in Fengcheng since the end of 2009.

In addition to the criminal penalty, that company also reportedly lost government subsidies worth up to RMB3.5 million (around US$515,000) as a result of the conviction and suffered significant damage to its reputation.

“Honeywell is pleased with this outcome, but remains vigilant in monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to take strong action against any company contravening its intellectual property rights,” says Ed Goodwin.

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