Australian company Codan has gone on the offensive to protect its international gold detector business against Chinese counterfeiters.
Codan has launched a new wave of legal action and international lobbying, as well as several other targeted initiatives to protect its intellectual property against electronics manufacturers in China who are producing counterfeit gold detector products.
Codan’s Managing Director, Donald McGurk, said the Chinese detectors were of “varying quality” but looked and felt like Minelab gold detectors and even illegally carry Codan’s Minelab trade mark.
“It is a problem we have been aware of for some time now,” McGurk said.
“In the past 12 months, these counterfeit products have been sold in increasing numbers across north eastern Africa, which in recent years has experienced a gold rush, with millions of gold prospectors now making a living prospecting for gold.”
McGurk said the counterfeits had impacted on Codan’s sales in the area and a comprehensive action plan was being implemented to address the counterfeit issue.
This included international legal action and high level lobbying in China using high profile intermediaries. He said early results of this campaign had been encouraging.
“While we are very hopeful we will be able to take back market share, the question of Chinese counterfeits is a difficult area and it certainly had an impact on first half sales,” McGurk said.
“We need to ensure we protect the integrity and reputation of our products against counterfeits and we will be seeing what else can be done to distinguish our products against the fakes.”
McGurk said sales of gold detectors across other parts of the world had not yet been impacted by the counterfeit products and remained strong. “Our state-of-the-art detectors are in strong demand across the world where the high gold price has sparked a gold rush in many local regions,” he added.