Case Won Against Two Counterfeiters
THE VALVE WORLD WON A MAJOR VICTORY IN MAY
when a Chinese court handed down criminal sentences and
steep fines to two companies and managers for counterfeiting a brand of valves sold by The Weir Group PLC.
The counterfeiters were arrested by China’s Public Security Bureau in late 2009 following in-depth investigations.
The defective fake valves quickly failed after being put into
service at Chinese power stations, causing injuries and damages.
The case was tried in the Yangzhou Intermediate People’s
Court, Jiangsu, China in December of last year where the
prosecution was able to prove the products used were counterfeit, failed to comply with compulsory national standards
and were of poor quality. The defendants misrepresented the
location of their manufacturing facilities by telling customers they were imported from the UK. The counterfeiters
had generated RMB 11 million (over $1.6 million).
The companies—Yangzhou Yikai Machinery and Engineering Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Saimeng Mechatronic Engineering Co., Ltd.—were handed unprecedented amounts of
fines and their managers were given more than 15 years
each in prison sentences.
Alan Mitchelson, legal & commercial director of The
Weir Group, said: “It has taken us more than a year of perseverance, but the outcome of this case is reassurance to our
employees, customers and shareholders that the unauthorized use of our trademarks will not be tolerated. Such high
fines and long criminal jail sentences are very rare in China
for intellectual property crimes. The Weir Group greatly
appreciates the support of police, prosecutors and courts in
China who have taken resolute enforcement actions against
these counterfeiters including the seizure of these defective,
Higher Sales for 2011
Of the 23 industries Global Spec talks to each
year for its annual economic survey, 20 reported
they expect to see improved conditions for sales
into 2011. Overall, economic indicators are more
optimistic than they have been in several years.
The survey, which queries engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial professions in
the U.S., found that well over half (55%) anticipate sales to be up while only a quarter (24%) say
sales will be down. This is a measurable improvement over last year, however, when only 47%
anticipated increased sales and 26% expected
declines. Also, only three of the 23 industries had
fewer respondents expecting higher sales in 2011
than in 2010. Meanwhile, departmental budgets
are increasing with 30% of engineers and technical professionals saying they expect more money
compared to just 18% in 2010.
Some of the industries where valves are used
are included in the chart at right.
Oil & Gas
Tools & Equipment
HVAC, Fire Control,
Sales up Sales flat Sales down