AFL wins trademark lawsuit against Fiberoptic Hardware

The United States District Court for the District of Arizona has decreed Fiberoptic Hardware, LLC sold and falsely advertised unauthorized Fujikura fusion splicers in violation of the rights of Fujikura’s wholly owned subsidiary and U.S. distributor, AFL.

The United States District Court for the District of Arizona has decreed Fiberoptic Hardware, LLC sold and falsely advertised unauthorized Fujikura fusion splicers in violation of the rights of Fujikura’s wholly owned subsidiary and U.S. distributor, AFL.

AFL alleged that the Fujikura fusion splicers sold by Fiberoptic Hardware, which were intended for sale outside North America, were materially different from authentic Fujikura fusion splicers authorized for sale in the U.S. in that, among other things, their software was not properly licensed for use in the U.S. and had been modified to alter the language display, and that their sale was likely to confuse purchasers. AFL also contended that Fiberoptic Hardware's advertising of those splicers as "new" constituted false advertising.

AFL filed the case in May 2011 (along with another, similar complaint against SurplusEQ.com; see "AFL files infringement lawsuits against Fiberoptic Hardware, SurplusEQ.com"), and the U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction in October 2011. The permanent injunction entered on May 31, 2012 prohibits Fiberoptic Hardware, along with its officers, employees, and others working with it, from "importing, exporting, distributing, circulating, selling, offering for sale, advertising, promoting or displaying any fusion splicer bearing any of the FUJIKURA Marks" if the splicers have been modified or are not authorized for sale in the U.S.

Fiberoptic Hardware is owned by George Kyrias and Chris Wood is the company's sales manager.

"AFL is pleased with the judgment, and we will continue to defend Fujikura's technology, patents, and copyrights on an ongoing basis to protect our customers from substandard products and services," stated Steve Althoff, executive vice president for AFL's Equipment Business. "When companies like Fiberoptic Hardware sell altered products, our customers are the real losers. They believe that they are receiving authentic Fujikura goods directly from Fujikura, and they come to find out that they are not. They get confused, and they feel violated because the trust is lost. AFL and Fujikura have a solid reputation, and we will continue to uphold the exceptional standards we have set forth."

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