Sennheiser in late February scored a victory in its ongoing campaign against product piracy with the conviction by Harrow Crown Court of an online trader from Cricklewood, London, caught selling counterfeit Sennheiser-branded equipment.
Thirty-one-year-old Anton Dyleuski, who was put on probation supervision and given a community sentence, admitted selling counterfeit Sennheiser headphones with a total value of €235,000 (£170,224) to over 7,000 customers on Amazon via his company Shakespeare Travel, trading as 'Prime Electronics'. (Pictured is a [non-counterfeited] pair of Sennheiser HD 25 ALUMINIUMs.)
In April 2013, the headphone/microphone manufacturer issued a statement "welcoming" the two-and-a-half year sentence handed down to another prolific British counterfeiter, Michael Reeder (see Sennheiser welcomes sentencing of counterfeit goods trader).
“Combating product piracy is not just about averting financial loss," comments company CEO Dr Andreas Sennheiser. "We are also concerned about the loss of our brand image. Customers are disappointed with the shoddy workmanship found in counterfeit products, but they are often unaware that they’ve been deceived. Counterfeit branded products lack the relevant sound qualities; they don’t meet our high quality standards, nor have they been through Sennheiser’s strict final inspection and testing."
A key measure deployed by Sennheiser in its fight against product piracy is the PrioSpot security label by tesa scribos, which is now used to mark all the company's packaging. PrioSpot labels have both visible and hidden security features, meaning consumers, traders and customs officers can very quickly carry out online checks on the authenticity of a product. Each product also carries a QR code, making it possible to verify the item via smartphone app in a few seconds.
To curb the number of fake products sold online, Sennheiser also screens certain web portals for suspicious merchandise, especially in Asia, and works closely with customs authorities in a number of countries.
“We’ve already had a lot of success with these existing measures – and now we’ve scored a major victory in the UK,” says Dr Sennheiser. “We will continue to take action against criminal counterfeiters so that our customers and partners can continue to be confident in receiving the high levels of quality they have come to expect from Sennheiser.”
In addition to his year's probation, the Dyleuski will be required to complete 200 hours of community service. Legal action by Sennheiser is also "now pending", and the trader may be held liable for damages.
In January, Electrical Safety First, a UK charity dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents, and comedian David Walliams revised the belovedpublic information film Charley Says as part of a fresh push to highlight the danger of counterfeit electrical goods (see Charley is back to warn of danger of buying dodgy electrical gear).