ebm‑papst, a family-run company headquartered in Mulfingen, Germany, the world’s leading manufacturer of fans and motors, continues to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to safeguarding its customers and upholding brand integrity. Thanks to the company's resolute and highly efficient approach, a Chinese factory that was selling counterfeit and refurbished ebm‑papst products could be revealed in August. Every year, counterfeiting and the corresponding investigations cause several hundred thousand euro in economic damage and total costs at ebm‑papst.

Unveiling the Counterfeit Operation

In March 2023, ebm‑papst received a complaint from a valued customer who had received 40 ebm‑papst fans that appeared unusual compared to previous purchases. ebm‑papst's response to any suspicion of counterfeit products is swift and decisive.

This investigative journey led the team through the intricate supply chain, ultimately tracing the source of this order to a trading company based in Shenzhen, China. This company had opted for an online storefront to distribute what seemed to be counterfeit ebm‑papst fans. But the manufacturing company was still unclear.

Under the leadership of Mr. Ralf Duckeck, Vice President of Intellectual Property at ebm‑papst group, the company enlisted the expertise of Selective Trademark Union (STU China) to assist in uncovering the details behind this suspected counterfeit case.

“Counterfeit products pose significant threats to both our business and our customers. They undermine our brand reputation and can potentially jeopardize the trust our customers place in us. Meanwhile, their subpar quality and performance can lead to immeasurable damage to our customers' reputation and equipment safety. It is with a strong determination to safeguard our brand's integrity and our customers' interests that we take decisive action.”
Ralf Duckeck
Vice President of Intellectual Property of ebm‑papst Group

The investigation encompassed both online and on-site aspects, allowing ebm‑papst to scrutinize every detail along the supply chain. Samples of the suspected counterfeit products were obtained and meticulously compared to genuine ebm‑papst fans. The team's dedication and diligence ultimately led to the discovery of the source factory responsible for refurbishing and distributing these counterfeit fans, located in Foshan, Guangdong.

The Raid in Foshan: Seizing Counterfeit Goods

In a significant breakthrough, on August 4th, led by local government authorities and assisted by STU China, a successful surprise inspection of the suspected counterfeit factory was conducted in Foshan, Guangdong. During this operation, in direct communication with the factory workers, it uncovered the primary activities of this refurbishing facility.

These activities included the purchase of original ebm‑papst fans and the application of fraudulent labels, refurbishing second-hand ebm‑papst fans as needed, and acquiring unused old-model ebm‑papst fans for refurbishment. Fans that have been refurbished will be sold as new original ebm‑papst fans, and to enhance the difficulty of discerning counterfeit products, they frequently employ a blend of authentic and fake tactics.

As a result of this operation, government authorities on-site confiscated 149 fans and 260 labels. In addition, all of the counterfeit products and all income from the sale was confiscated and a fine of 20,000 RMB was imposed on the counterfeiters.

ebm‑papst’s Commitment and Mission

ebm‑papst has consistently used highly efficient and resolute action to combat counterfeit products. The company aims to set an industry benchmark in its fight against counterfeit goods, demonstrating that no act of infringement, no matter how small or distant, goes unaddressed.

ebm‑papst extends a call to action to all enterprises and customers in the industry who have suffered from illegal merchants and unlawful factories' infringements. Stand up, protect your brand, safeguard your interests. A better industry environment requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders. And ebm‑papst would also like to convey a specific message to their customers: please exclusively utilize the purchase channels that have received official authorization from ebm‑papst. In China, you can access the official online store and the sales network through their website (homepage - contact us) at https://www.ebmpapst.com.cn.

“At ebm‑papst, we remain dedicated to providing top-quality products to our customers. This dedication goes hand in hand with our unwavering resolve to combat counterfeit products and ensure that quality and trust always prevail.”
Thomas Nürnberger
CSO ebm‑papst Group and CEO Air Technology APAC & MEA

ebm-papst's Battle Against Counterfeits