LAS VEGAS _ U.S Marshals marched into the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show and the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) recently to seize parts, shut down booth displays, and serve court-ordered subpoenas to eight Chinese aftermarket companies. A complaint filed by Jeep aftermarket parts maker Omix-ADA in U.S. District Court claimed patent and trademark infringements on products sold as part of the Rugged Ridge brand.
Counterfeit product and copyright infringement is in direct violation of SEMA and AAPEX policies and the managing parties took action to remove violating exhibitors from the premises. Omix-ADA worked with show management teams and the Federal authorities to identify counterfeit material at the shows. The marshals raided two Chinese companies’ booths at the SEMA Show, while six others were raided at the nearby AAPEX. The companies affected included Changzhou Jiulong Auto Lamps, Guangzhou Vcan Electronic Technology, Maxgrand Ltd., Sanmak Lighting, Shenzen Unisun Technology, and Unity 4wd Accessories.
Shortly after the raid, Omix-ADA issued a statement:
“As a dedicated exhibitor, Omix-ADA would like to thank SEMA and AAPEX management for their help and cooperation in working with the company to help protect its patent and trademark rights, as well as the aftermarket customers,” Omix-ADA said in a prepared statement. [Our company] is also pursuing litigation with several companies selling infringing product at various online retailers.”
“The company views counterfeiting and infringement as a serious and widespread problem in the aftermarket industry and one that can be combatted through proper legal channels, and would encourage other members of the aftermarket industry to follow a similar path.”
A preliminary hearing was held Nov. 10.