US, EU seize counterfeit computer goods
First joint operation for fake chips
More than 360,000 fake computer chips and network components were seized by US and European custom officers in a joint operation late last year.
Officials from both sides of the pond seized counterfeit goods that carried more than 40 different trademarks in November and December last year under “Operation Infrastructure”.
It was the first Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement operation undertaken by US Customs and Border Protection and the European Union.
Assistant commissioner of the US Office of International Trade, Dan Baldwin, said in a joint statement: "The success of Operation Infrastructure clearly demonstrates our commitment to jointly working with our European counterparts to stop the international flow of illicit goods and protect our consumers and businesses from these harmful products."
The European Commission said that the two agencies had targeted counterfeit computer networking hardware because it provides “critical infrastructure” that brings with it potential “national security and health and safety implications”.
EC director general for taxation and customs R.Verrue said: “The EU and US are fully committed to combating counterfeiting and piracy at home and abroad. In addition, this also shows that Customs administrations are prepared to tackle difficult enforcement challenges and issues, especially when the health and safety of our citizens is at stake.”
The EU and US first agreed to buddy up on IPR enforcement at a summit in 2006. ®
Cheap, fake, capacitors
Hi, millions of stolen electrolytic formula caps were sold and are in all kinds of electronic equipment since about 2000. So if you have a computer resetting or won't turn on, check the motherboard for bulging caps. Seems the thieves forgot to steal the gas inhibiting formula and the caps all form hydrogen and explode, bulge and leak. Check it out on www.badcaps.net. We do the repairs at www.lynncomp.com Fixed 3 in last 3 months, from Jetway cubes to Compaq computers. This is a really big problem, and if you see it, have caps replaced.
Sony Mem stick duos on Ebay?
So all this must fall under the same category as buying a memory stick for your PSP off Ebay from the far east - comes with a badly printed sticker made up to look like an official Sony stick, but clearly isnt.
Going by the number of auctions of such cards, I'd wager a very large amount of counterfeit computer chips flow through Ebay - remember they're meant to be a large legitimate totally legal organisation, they end up profitting directly from listing revenue from illegal items.
El-Reg - write an article as a follow up about how Ebay are profiting from criminals - and are so crims themselves. Been done already?
They get very cheap network cards and rebadge them. They get low end CPUs and repackage them.
Maybe the Real Hustle team should show us how?
Thanks for that guys.
I didnt realise it was that bad.... and rebadgers do my head in as well.
I'd be pretty cheesed off if i bought something that turned out to be like that.
Numbers don't mean anything
"I remain unimpressed and fail to see why the company that bought and used that more expensive Intel Flash chips in it's products when it was actually supplied with remarked Samsung Flash chips, doesn't sue the supplier like any other failure to supply the goods."
Try it sometime ... first you have to prove that the chips are bad and if you've just wave soldered 10,000 chips at $8 each into a product then you have a big problem... pull them off the board and start testing ... call the supplier and they will swear up and down that they sold you good stuff and you ruined it, or that the parts that you are returning aren't the parts that they supplied.
Been there, done that, didn't get anywhere. Did we report it? Hell no - we don't use that supplier any longer although we've had other kit from them that appeared to work. We're doing more QA now but that costs money ... so either our margins are lower or our kit is going to have to cost more.
It doesn't matter what fraction of a percentage is duff kit - when it's 100% of your production line you have a big problem. Most of the time when counterfeit kit is discovered it's junked and the affected manufacturer moves on ... there's a lot more duff kit out there than you suspect.
Simple answer - stop buying from suppliers that you don't trust ... we used not to trust any Chinese suppliers, that's now expanded to no Asian chip suppliers. But when you have a board run halted because your regular supplier hasn't shipped to you it's tempting. Most of our kit is high spec analog so testing isn't quite as simple as testing digital chips.
Anonymous for obvious reasons. Paris, because I think shes got some counterfeit parts ...