SIX YEAR LEGAL EFFORT TO ELIMINATE COUNTERFIT RESIN
Ticona announced that it has concluded its successful six-year legal effort to eliminate counterfeit engineering plastics from the marketplace. The last in a series of lawsuits was concluded when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan found Chase Plastic Services and its president, Kevin Chase, guilty of trademark infringement for selling counterfeit Celcon®
The court found that Chase "either knew or was willfully blind to the fact that it was selling counterfeit Celcon®
. "Specifically, Chase purchased counterfeit Celcon®
from Nylon Engineering Resins, Inc. a Florida-based seller of engineering plastics well below market price and without any certifications of authenticity. The Court stated in its finding that, given the fact that this counterfeiting activity was well known in the market place, Chase "had an obligation to assure the genuineness of the product purchased."
This latest action was another in a series of legal victories for Ticona which began an aggressive legal effort in 1994 to rid the marketplace of counterfeit Celcon®
. The largest participant in the counterfeiting activities was Nylon Engineering Resins (NER) and its president Thomas E. Popoli, Sr.
In 1997, a Florida District Court found NER had stripped the original trademarks from packaging containing a Taiwan manufactured acetal copolymer (Tepcon); had false labels and other materials printed bearing the Celcon®
trademark and Hoechst Celanese trademark (Ticona's predecessor parent company); affixed the Celcon®
trademark to the Tepcon resins; and sold the mislabeled product to customers as Celcon®
resin. NER also mislabeled a Ticona recycled acetal called Encore®
and sold that product under the Celcon®
In the NER case, over $4 million in damages and fees were awarded to Ticona and, in a criminal prosecution, NER president Thomas Popoli was sentenced to 33 months in prison for his role in customs violations resulting from his importation of the Tepcon product.
"These judgments not only have served to protect Ticona's rights, but the interests of end users and the public in having genuine Celcon® acetal copolymer used in all products that are made with material bearing the Celcon® trademark," said David Postolowski, Ticona's North American Business Director for the Celcon®
acetal product line.
In addition to being alert to any resumption of this type of activity in the marketplace, Ticona has been continuing its aggressive effort to ensure that all potential end users of the counterfeit Celcon®
are made aware of the true nature of the materials they purchased.
For more information, contact Michael Caputo at 908-522-7824 or Ann Frechette 908-598-4357, websites www.ticona.com and www.celanese.com.