Square D Continues Crusade against Counterfeit Products, Sues Gaffney-Kroese

Palatine, Ill.-based Square D®, the flagship brand of the Schneider Electric North American operating division, announced July 31 that it has filed suit against Gaffney-Kroese Supply Corp. in the U.S. District Court of Chicago, alleging that the wholesale electrical equipment distributor has knowingly sold counterfeit Square D circuit breakers and has infringed the Square D trademarks in violation of federal law. Square D seeks to enjoin Gaffney-Kroese's continued distribution of counterfeit products and recover profits made from the distributor's sales, along with treble damages, attorney fees, and costs.

"In the past 14 months, Square D has filed nine lawsuits to put a stop to the importation, sale, and distribution of counterfeit circuit breakers," said Bill Snyder, Schneider VP of channel development. "Nineteen separate defendants have been named in those cases. We have obtained consent orders against many of the defendants requiring product recalls and barring them from importing, selling, or distributing counterfeit products and, in some cases, genuine products bearing the Square D trademarks. Square D has every intention of pursuing counterfeiters up and down the distribution chain. We'll stop at nothing to preserve the integrity of our products and protect innocent customers from the serious health and safety hazards associated with counterfeit products."

Jim Pauley, Schneider VP of industry and government relations, said, "Distributors need to be aware that there are hidden and potentially deadly hazards associated with counterfeit circuit breakers being distributed on the market today. By identifying counterfeit products and reporting counterfeiters, distributors can save lives. Accordingly, we urge anyone with information regarding sale or distribution of the counterfeits of our products to contact us immediately."

For inquiries related to the lawsuit, to obtain a copy of the lawsuit, or to report the sale or distribution of counterfeits, contact Stephen Litchfield, assistant general counsel for Square D, at 847-925-3516.

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