Fri, Nov 17, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Motorola vows tighter watch for fakes

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH BLOOMBERG

A model holds up two Motorola-branded walkie-talkies yesterday. The one on the left is a counterfeit, while the one on the right is a genuine product, but they are so similar that the difference can only be discovered by removing the cover and looking at the batteries' circuit design. Motorola is safeguarding its patents by cracking down on production and sales of knock-offs of its products.

PHOTO: WANG YI-HUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Following its recent success, Motorola Inc, the world's top maker of walkie-talkies, yesterday said it would continue to safeguard its patents by cracking down on the production and sales of counterfeit products.

In September, Motorola won a patent lawsuit against Chinese manufacturer Quanzhou Fei Jie Electronic Co (飛杰電子).

The Chinese firm has agreed to stop making and selling phony Motorola radios and conceded to other requests, the US-based company said without giving details about the agreement.

"The settlement marks a milestone in Motorola's long-term efforts to protect its patents. We will continue to curb counterfeiting of Motorola products to safeguard the interest of Motorola and our consumers," Johnny Chen (陳國正) told a press briefing in Taipei.

In order to tap into the market, smaller players have copied Motorola's portable two-way radios, hurting Motorola's business and consumer's interests, Chen said.

"Counterfeit batteries are very dangerous as poorly manufactured goods can cause the walkie-talkies to malfunction during critical moments," Chen said, adding that Motorola's walkie-talkies are widely used by policemen and fire fighters.

Motorola is pursuing similar lawsuits in other regions, Chen said, although he declined to provide details.

Motorola said it had received several complaints from consumers in Taiwan about the circulation of counterfeit Motorola products -- mostly knockoffs of its batteries and popular V3 series handsets.

Most of the fake Motorola products were imported items, the company said.

Motorola does not plan to take any legal action until it has collected sufficient information and evidence, Chen said.

To ensure that consumers only get authentic Motorola products, the company has set up Motorola Genuine Outlets (MGO) in the Asia-Pacific region to sell its products.

Motorola currently operates 12 MGOs in Taiwan among 118 similar outlets around in the region.

In other developments, Motorola plans to set up 30 stores in Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd (國美電器) outlets in China this year to help increase its sales in less developed cities.

The Gome-Motorola partnership is expected to generate revenue of 3 billion yuan (US$381 million) next year, China's biggest electronics retailer said in Beijing yesterday.

It expects to sell 3 million units, accounting for 28 percent of Gome's handset sales next year.

"In the next two years, handsets offering features such as television and games will be highly sought after by consumers," Gome billionaire founder and chairman Huang Guangyu (黃光裕) said in Beijing.

Motorola is the best-selling brand in Gome's outlets, Huang said.

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