23 January 2013
The ruling in a trademark infringement case involving DuPont's fire resistant fibre Nomex sends a clear message to all counterfeiters The Arbitration Court of Moscow, Russia, has recently ruled in favour of DuPont in
The Arbitration Court of Moscow, Russia, has recently ruled in favour of DuPont in a trademark infringement case involving the fire resistant fibre, Nomex.
The case, brought swiftly to the attention of the courts by DuPont, sends a stark warning to all counterfeiters but also demonstrates to wearers of the product the vigilant approach from DuPont to ensure products containing Nomex fibre conform to the regulations and are of the highest quality. The defendant's arguments were dismissed by the court and it was instructed to pay RUB 1,000,000 (US$ 32,000) plus fees to DuPont in compensation.
The story unfolded as one of the garment manufacturers, who is part of the DuPont value chain, became suspicious of a fabric labelled as Nomex.
The fabric was sent to the DuPont testing facilities in Meyrin, Geneva, where it underwent tests that included microscopical and chemical analysis. These revealed that the fabric was, in fact, a sophisticated modification of simple fire retardant cotton. The modification had been carried out to make the FR cotton appear lighter, attempting to emulate the light weight properties of Nomex.
These results were also confirmed visually by the test on DuPont Thermo-Man. Encased in a cabinet with glass windows, Thermo-Man is a life-size manikin that is engulfed in flames creating temperatures soaring to 1000Â°C for up to eight seconds, while 122 heat sensors relay a reading that predicts how well that garment can protect the wearer against heat and flame injuries. In this specific case, the garment presented extensive damages after an exposure of only four seconds, showing that the garment is far from meeting the performance of genuine garments.
"This level of sophisticated counterfeiting is an alarming sign," says Oriol Rofes, Nomex industrial market segment manager at DuPont. "However, this case demonstrates the exceptionally close working relationship we have with our partner weavers and manufacturers and how DuPont is constantly monitoring where our products are used. Our Nomex Partner Programme is designed to help end users choose the best products and we urge anyone needing to buy Nomex fire resistant clothing to work with recognised and trusted manufacturers who participate in this programme." The British Safety Industry Federation's (BSIF) Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS) helps direct purchasers to experienced and ethical companies who work tirelessly to provide safety equipment that conforms and complies. The scheme's shield acts as a signpost for people to ensure that they can buy from a reputable company whom they can trust to supply genuine legal products and provide good advice.
David Lummis, CEO of the BSIF, says: "DuPont is a member of this scheme and it is the work these stringent companies do that will help eliminate counterfeit products. We remind all purchasers to ensure they buy products from reliable sources and look for the RSSS shield as a guarantee of conformity and quality." DuPont Personal Protection will be exhibiting at Health & Safety North on Stand 70