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The “Plagiarius” anti-prize goes to Bürkert imitator

As part of the ‘Aktion Plagiarius’, a copy of the Bürkert angle seat valve Type 2000 was singled out for special recognition as this year’s most brazen imitation. The company from Ningbo in China copied all of the typical Bürkert design elements, thereby infringing the registered copyright. The negative prize aims to raise public awareness of the theft of intellectual property by product and brand pirates.

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The protection of intellectual property is an important issue at Bürkert Fluid Control Systems. Particularly given the company’s strategic positioning as a technology and quality leader, the patent and brand management department led by Dr. Gertrud Eppler has been actively protecting Bürkert products against pirated copies for many years. However, the registration of patents as well as the Bürkert brand for the product range does not deter certain companies, notably those in the Asian region, from deliberately and unashamedly copying products that are already successfully established on the market. Bürkert has been the victim of product piracy more than once. Thanks to the dedicated and painstaking work of Dr. Eppler and her team, various countermeasures have been taken in this area to uncover counterfeiters, for instance, by carrying out several goods seizures at trade fairs. In addition, extensive research has resulted in websites or domains that violate Bürkert copyrights being continuously identified and then shut down.

Against this background, a Chinese company that copied the Bürkert angle seat valve Type 2000 has even been awarded a prize – one that nobody would want to receive. The “Plagiarius” negative prize was awarded for the 43rd time on 8 February 2019 at Frankfurt’s international consumer goods fair “Ambiente”. The campaign aims to shine a light on the crude and unscrupulous business practices of product and brand pirates and to raise awareness of the problem in industry and among politicians and consumers. Dr. Eppler attended the event to represent Bürkert as the original manufacturer of the “award-winning” imitation that won “1st prize” in the 2019 Plagiarius competition. “We are delighted to see the Chinese company that copies Bürkert products claim the top spot in the Aktion Plagiarius and receive this anti-prize. We expect this to have a deterrent effect that will leave imitators in no doubt of Bürkert’s determination to defend itself against infringements of industrial property rights using all means at its disposal. The primary objective is and remains to protect our customers from imitations that frequently display quality defects,” says Eppler of the campaign.

About Aktion Plagiarius e.V.

Since 1977, Aktion Plagiarius e.V. has presented the dreaded anti-prize, which is the brainchild of designer Prof. Rido Busse, to manufacturers and distributors of particularly brazen counterfeit products and imitations. The aim is to raise public awareness of the clumsy and unscrupulous business practices of product and brand pirates and to sensitise industry, politics and consumers to the problem. At the same time, the association emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of industrial property rights. It also promotes an appreciation among consumers of creative achievements by making them aware of the fact that developing a product from initial ideal through to market maturity takes a great deal of time, money, know-how and innovative capacity.

This is also reflected by the trophy of the Plagiarius negative prize: A gnome with a golden nose – taken from the German aphorism “to earn oneself a golden nose” meaning to earn a lot of money – symbolises the vast profits that unimaginative imitators generate at the expense of creative individuals and industry. (Copyright: Aktion Plagiarius e.V.)

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