Electrical construction industry allies are joining forces in an industry-wide effort to eliminate the rapidly increasing crime of counterfeit electrical products in the United States. The new Anti-Counterfeit Products Initiative kicked off with a panel discussion on Oct. 6 during the National Electrical Contractors Association’s (NECA) Annual Convention and Trade Show in Chicago. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR and The Electrical Distributor (TED) magazines hosted the joint panel, and the initiative is endorsed by the National Association of Electrical Distributors, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Robert Crane, lead enforcement manager, Anti-Counterfeiting Operations, UL, Chapel Hill, N.C., said, “Underwriters Laboratories Inc., like many other intellectual property rights and trademark owners, has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of counterfeited products and trademark labels on those products in the past several years.”

“Everyone in the distribution chain, from manufacturer, broker, exporter, importer, distributor, retailer, even consumer, has a responsibility to do due diligence in the protection of their trademark and avoidance of purchasing of counterfeit products,” Crane said.

Panel participants also included Kevin Yates, vice president, Residential Products Division, Siemens Energy and Automation Inc.; Steve Litchfield, assistant general counsel, Square D Co., a brand of Schneider Electric; and William Ferguson, vice president, administration and general counsel, Babcock Power.

Editorial collaboration in ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR and TED magazines will be featured in the December issues of both magazines. Upcoming Anti-Counterfeit Products Initiative activities also include a Web site, which will launch in December, and a joint Webinar in January 2009.