On June 25, a jury in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis found Breakers Unlimited, Noblesville, Ind., guilty of purchasing and selling counterfeit Schneider Electric, Palatine, Ill., QO circuit breakers. The counterfeit circuit breakers, all bearing trademarks registered to Square D, were discovered by Schneider Electric during the prosecution of its lawsuit against Breakers Unlimited and were sold by Breakers Unlimited in 2005 and 2006. The amount of damages to be awarded and the scope of an injunction restricting Breakers Unlimited's continued involvement in the market where counterfeit circuit breakers are bought and sold have yet to be decided by the court.
“This lawsuit is one example of Schneider Electric’s ongoing commitment to preventing counterfeiting and protecting its customers, trademarks and designs,” says Bill Snyder, vice president, channel development, Schneider Electric. “We continue to lead the industry in pursuing counterfeiters up and down the distribution chain because we are dedicated to preserving the integrity of our products and protecting people from the serious health and safety hazards associated with counterfeit products. Through our efforts in this lawsuit and others like it, we have kept more than 250,000 potentially hazardous counterfeit goods out of the marketplace.”
Breakers Unlimited is concerned about the incursion of counterfeit products, according to a statement to its customers on its Web site. "In addition to being illegal, it is ethically wrong to misrepresent these products," the statement reads. "We pledge to our customers that all new circuit breakers we sell are authentic and certified by UL and/or CSAUL as applicable. We take great care in provisioning our inventory and all circuit breakers are inspected for authenticity upon arrival at our warehouse."