In a recent case brought before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), Radwell International, Inc., and 14 additional foreign suppliers were found to be importing non-genuine, gray market Allen-Bradley products and selling them in the United States as “factory sealed” and “new.”
Following the investigation, Radwell has consented to cease the importation and sale of any imported infringing Allen-Bradley products, and any related inventory that remained in the United States could no longer be sold in the U.S.
This binding stipulation reinforces the best practice of purchasing direct from the manufacturer or establishing a solid business relationship with an authorized distributor who can ensure the supply of new, genuine products.
In addition to warranty, the benefits of purchasing from an authorized source include access to licensed software and inventory, product support, safety and recall notices, technical assistance and quality assurance.
These elements are critical to customers, who recognize their distributor as the local automation expert and depend on the authenticity of the products they are purchasing.
Sourcing from an authorized party also helps to ensure that brands, companies and people are not compromised through the use or implementation of non-genuine, stolen, counterfeit or otherwise materially different products.
Additional considerations include security and compliance. The installation of an altered or modified product poses a threat of operational safety and security, intellectual property infringement and inability to comply with standards imposed by regulatory bodies or governments.
Purchasing authentic products helps mitigate the risk of non-compliance with chain-of-custody requirements or related environmental-management issues.
More information on partnering with authorized distributors along with details for best practices on product sourcing can be found here.