Avolites and MA Lighting recently joined forces with the organisers of entertainment technology trade event Prolight+Sound to shut down the booth of prolific counterfeit operation PPL (Popular Lighting) from Guangzhou, China. This is just one of a number of steps that both businesses are taking to prevent the distribution of counterfeits. It also sends out a clear message to all manufacturers making direct copies that their actions will not be tolerated.
Avolites sales director Koy Neminathan explains: "Avolites synchronised efforts with MA Lighting and with the support of Prolight+Sound to successfully close PPL's booth down before the Prolight+Sound show even opened. PPL shamelessly manufactures and sells counterfeit Avolites and MA Lighting badged products at respected trade shows around the world and we are determined to put a stop to this."
Michael Adenau, managing director and founder of MA Lighting, adds: "MA Lighting is willing to take any necessary steps to stop the sale and manufacture of counterfeit products. Our industry is built on innovation, creativity and technical devotion. Years of manpower were spent in developing console series like grandMA2 and grandMA3. By buying counterfeits, purchasers are killing this industry and disrespecting the hard work of all manufacturers."
Neminathan also states that Avolites and MA Lighting plan to continue to combine their efforts to identify any product manufacturer that promotes counterfeit products that infringe either manufacturer's copyright and ensure that their booths are expediently closed down at trade shows globally.
"It's crucial that customers and end users of counterfeit products are aware that these products are not developed with the same R&D expertise as the real thing, nor are they subject to trademarking and safety testing regulations," continues Neminathan. "The impact of such products is that they are often sub-standard, do not have robust manufacturer or distributor technical backup or even offer spare parts. In the case of failure, they could also cause serious harm to those working with or in the same environment as them."
Both Avolites and MA Lighting strongly believe that counterfeiting is theft. When these products make their way into the supply chain it is not just the originating manufacturer that suffers the financial and brand costs. It is also the distributor, the rental operation, the end user and potentially the artists, performance and audience that may be compromised. Because counterfeit goods are often sold direct to the end user, those customers generally have little comeback, service or support. What's more, if counterfeit product is used knowingly, it may even compromise the user's public liability insurance.
Purchasers and end users should understand that genuine products are supported by knowledgeable distributor networks, service centres, spare parts depots etc - all of these are reassuring for the end users and their clients. They also provide genuine job opportunities throughout the supply chain and the framework for other small businesses to thrive.
Essentially, counterfeit goods poison the whole supply chain and at worst can cause life-threatening health and safety issues. Those businesses who knowingly import or market counterfeit products, in countries where such products are covered by patents, are as accountable in the eyes of the law as those who manufacture them.