On September 20, 2011, Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co.KG and Sennheiser Electronic Corp. filed its first wave of federal lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuits target a number of Internet based pirates and counterfeiters located throughout the United States who are engaged in the sale of counterfeit Sennheiser branded merchandise, including the CX200, CX300 II, CX380 II, CX500 and PMX80 lines of headphones.
The lawsuits have been filed against a variety of individuals and business entities that are conducting business throughout the United States in locations including New York, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida. The complaints are based upon Federal Trademark Infringement Laws, including but not limited to violations of 15 U.S.C. §1114, 15 U.S.C. §1125, Lanham Act, and the California Business and Professions Code. The filed complaints demand substantial damages in the form of declaratory relief and injunctive relief, along with all attorney's fees and costs against counterfeiters. Sennheiser has identified more than 100 other domestic pirates -- along with numerous domestic websites -- which are targeted for further enforcement operations.
Sennheiser began this counterfeit enforcement campaign after recognizing an increase of warranty returns and complaints about the quality and workmanship on some Sennheiser branded products. Further investigation determined that the complaints originated from consumers who purchased their Sennheiser products online; often from a website based in China, or from a domestic eBay seller who acquired the counterfeit merchandise from a Chinese wholesaler of counterfeit products.
The Sennheiser brand has achieved popularity and with that recognition has fallen victim to the ever-expanding counterfeit industry. The manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit Sennheiser-branded products abroad has resulted in the widespread domestic sale of pirated merchandise, all of which is composed of inferior materials and substandard workmanship. Counterfeit merchandise is not only prone to malfunction, but can also result in injury to the consumer and damage to the environment due to deficient quality control and attention to detail during the production process.
"Sennheiser will vigorously defend the Sennheiser brand name, representing premium quality and performance, by taking action against counterfeiters and ensuring our customers know how to avoid purchasing counterfeit products," said John Falcone, President/CEO of Sennheiser Electronic Corporation. "Customers are urged to purchase only from authorized Sennheiser dealers."