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Hynix re-marked chips sourced to Rombyte, First Choice

Trial by press release

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In May this year, Newbury memory distie Rombyte was raided by Trading Standards. It told us that it would send us a statement a few days later. We never received it.

The same month Hynix sent out a note to the UK channel to watch out for low-quality counterfeit chips purporting to be from the Korean memory maker.

Today the dots are joined with a press release from Hynix Semiconductor Europe, announcing that Rombyte, and another firm, called First Choice Components Ltd, were responsible for importing "Hynix" re-marks from Taiwan.

It has decided not to begin High Court proceedings against the two disties for infringing registered trademarket, opting instead for public humiliation.

In return for Hynix's magnanimity, the two disties have made contractually-binding undertakings to to "cease and desist from importing and marketing counterfeit memory chips stamped with the Hynix brand name but not manufactured or marketed by Hynix".

There's more. "Agreement has been made for the distributors to immediately stop offering for sale any further counterfeit Hynix memory chips, destroy any remaining existing stocks, and to provide Hynix with details of the suspected suppliers of the fake products."

According to Hynix Europe spokesman Richard Lindo, the remarked chips contained low-grade die. "We believe that a bona fide memory distributor should be capable of identifying counterfeit products," he says. Ouch.

Hynix thinks it has stamped out the remarking supply in Europe. Now it is in hot pursuit of the counterfeiters. ®

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