How can you tell a counterfeit from the real thing? According to Mukwonago, Wis.-based Empire Level, the screws of its genuine Torpedo level are hidden on the side. Also, counterfeits squeak when twisted.
The company says it is working aggressively to stop counterfeiting of its levels in two ways: blocking the import of knock-offs and pushing for removal of counterfeits from store shelves. The company has issued dozens of cease-and-desist letters to Chinese suppliers, as well as U.S. distributors and retailers dealing in the counterfeits.
It’s a battle worth fighting, according to Jenni Becker, Empire president.
“This counterfeit activity is a direct threat to our economy and American jobs, including the jobs of our 200 employees,” Becker said. “It hurts our business and our brand when people purchase counterfeit products that don’t perform to our standards. We know some consumers have been deceived by ads for these junk counterfeits, and it absolutely needs to stop.”
In recent months, tens of thousands of the knockoff units have been taken off the market, with related advertisements stopped. Empire Level has launched more than 100 enforcement efforts — including more than one with major retailers — resulting in numerous quick settlements.
Becker added: “If it’s coming from China, it’s not our Torpedo level.”
Amount of counterfeit goods seized at U.S. borders in 2012
Source: U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection