Klipsch takes a stand against counterfeit headphones

Klipsch has announced that that it's taking legal action against 23 alleged counterfeiters, all based in China, over the manufacture and sales of fake Image S4 and S4i earphones.

On December 16 it received an order allowing the suspension of service to domains and sellers on trade boards selling counterfeit Klipsch headphones, in an action relating to counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin.

'The products that the identified counterfeiters are manufacturing and distributing directly infringe on Klipsch trademarks', the company says.

Mike Klipsch, the company's president of global operations, says that it 'has noticed a dramatic increase in counterfeit activities over the past six months, and as a result, has intensified its efforts to battle this very serious issue.

'Obviously, counterfeiting can have a negative impact on our sales, but more importantly, counterfeiters are selling inferior products that reflect very negatively on the Klipsch brand. Our intellectual property is one of our greatest assets and we will continue to protect it to the full extent of the law.'

Among other remedies, the company can seek up to $2m per trademark, per defendant, as wells injunctions to the take down relevant websites and listings and prevent defendants counterfeiting Klipsch brand products in the future. To date, KGI has restrained 20 of defendants’ accounts having over $750,000 in funds from the sale of counterfeit merchandise.

The company is making a substantial investment in tackling the problem, including making daily purchases worldwide to identify counterfeit sellers, training US Customs and Border Patrol officers to spot counterfeit Klipsch products, employing investigators in North America, Europe and Asia to identify and track counterfeiters, and working with marketplaces such as Amazon and EBay to remove counterfeit sellers.

Mike Klipsch says that 'The Klipsch brand has been cultivated for over a 65 year time period and we are not about to sit by and let counterfeiters tarnish what we have established.'

'A total of 23 defendants are specifically named in the suit, including at least eight unique websites and 27 seller listings on trade boards, online marketplaces and business-to-business websites.

'Examples include Focalprice.com and wsdeal.com, and sellers listed on Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com, DIYTrade.com, DHGate.com and Components-Electronic.com. Among the named defendants are two suspected major manufactuers of counterfeit Klipsch brand goods.

'The number of defendants will likely grow as additional websites and sellers are identified.'

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.