*NEWS*RAID ON PHONY TONER INK CARTRIDGES

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*NEWS*RAID ON PHONY TONER INK CARTRIDGES

 user 2006-06-02 at 11:51:00 am Views: 102
  • #15804

    Phony ink cartridges raid target
    THE market watchdog is investigating an underground workshop that produced counterfeit ink cartridges, labeled as famous brands, such as Ricoh and Konica.The Shanghai General Inspection Team of Quality and Technical Supervision seized 268 ink cartridges from the workshop on Chang’an Road in Zhabei District during a raid, the team said. It acted on tips from official brand holders.The workshop, registered as Shanghai Zhongtian Digital Office Equipment Co, hid storage and production materials in the basement of a middle school.Copyright-infringed brands include Ricoh, Konica, Minolta and Brother. Packages were labeled Ricoh Company Ltd, Shanghai Ricoh Fax Co, Konica Minolta Office System (China) Co, and others. They appeared identical to authentic cartridges.Investigators said company officials admitted the cartridges were purchased at a low price from illegal sources, including street vendors who collected discarded ones.The fakes have been confiscated as evidence. Company figures on illegal profits and the number of sales were not available.Officials with Konica Minolta Office System (China) Co said they suffer losses of 400 million yuan (US$49 million) a year because of counterfeit products using their brand.”Fake products are rampant in the China market and affect 60 percent to 70 percent of sales each year,” said Konica Minolta’s Yin Liqun, who is in charge of fighting fake products.The fakes usually use the originally used cartridges collected from recycling stations. Producers also buy them from vendors who buy them for 20 yuan to 30 yuan each.From stationery stores, sellers can get twice as much profit from a fake cartridge, while a real one can only net them 5 yuan to 10 yuan of profit.Konica Minolta invests millions of yuan every year on market investigations.So far this year, company tips have led to confiscation of more than 30,000 fake products worth around 3.5 million yuan.