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Copied, stolen, counterfeited

FAQs concerning product piracy

  • What exactly is product piracy?

    Product piracy is the illegal imitation, copying, or counterfeiting of products. At the very minimum, an industrial property right – patent, utility model, design – is breached.

    The manufacturers of piracy products usually have no development or technological expertise for the imitated original product.

    Product piracy is the illegal imitation, copying, or counterfeiting of products. At the very minimum, an industrial property right – patent, utility model, design – is breached.

    The manufacturers of piracy products usually have no development or technological expertise for the imitated original product.

  • How can I identify a counterfeit product?

    Indicators are prices that are unusual for the market and products being offered via previously unused sales channels. Today, it is unfortunately the case that only specialist professionals are often able to clearly identify counterfeit products.

    Indicators are prices that are unusual for the market and products being offered via previously unused sales channels. Today, it is unfortunately the case that only specialist professionals are often able to clearly identify counterfeit products.

  • Which engineering deficiencies most frequently occur on plagiarized products and counterfeits?

    Inferior materials are usually poorly or carelessly processed in piracy products. In terms of steering parts and chassis components, this leads to cracks in the rubber. Oscillations and vibrations are not absorbed; in fact, they reach the vehicle body in an unfiltered manner.

    Inferior materials are usually poorly or carelessly processed in piracy products. In terms of steering parts and chassis components, this leads to cracks in the rubber. Oscillations and vibrations are not absorbed; in fact, they reach the vehicle body in an unfiltered manner.

  • What consequences can be expected if inferior spare parts are installed?

    Inferior products can lead to uneven tire wear, increased wear (also to other components), poor ride comfort, and/or unstable cornering behavior in the steering system and chassis. In the worst-case scenario, the component can break while driving and, as a result, endanger the lives of the passengers.

    Inferior products can lead to uneven tire wear, increased wear (also to other components), poor ride comfort, and/or unstable cornering behavior in the steering system and chassis. In the worst-case scenario, the component can break while driving and, as a result, endanger the lives of the passengers.

  • What should I do if I fear I have purchased a counterfeit?

    If you have a suspicion, contact the manufacturer as soon as possible.

    The ZF Aftermarket experts are on hand at all times:

    If you have a suspicion, contact the manufacturer as soon as possible.

    The ZF Aftermarket experts are on hand at all times:

  • What legal risks do piracy products pose?

    Anybody who puts counterfeit products into circulation is liable to prosecution. Here, it is sufficient if the purchaser has obtained the goods from a dubious source at low prices that are unusual for the market.

    Further information regarding the liability risk can be found at:

    Anybody who puts counterfeit products into circulation is liable to prosecution. Here, it is sufficient if the purchaser has obtained the goods from a dubious source at low prices that are unusual for the market.

    Further information regarding the liability risk can be found at:

  • What is brand piracy?

    Brand piracy is when a third-party brand, i.e. a brand not licensed by the product pirate, is used in order to deceive with regard to the true manufacturer. Brand piracy is often linked to product piracy.

    Brand piracy is when a third-party brand, i.e. a brand not licensed by the product pirate, is used in order to deceive with regard to the true manufacturer. Brand piracy is often linked to product piracy.

  • What is meant by imitation?

    Imitation is where third parties legally manufacture an existing product without violating industrial property rights such as proprietary rights, utility model rights, or patent protection rights.

    Automotive suppliers with development expertise from the original equipment sector provide imitations in a targeted manner in order to close product range gaps on the free spare parts market.

    Imitation is where third parties legally manufacture an existing product without violating industrial property rights such as proprietary rights, utility model rights, or patent protection rights.

    Automotive suppliers with development expertise from the original equipment sector provide imitations in a targeted manner in order to close product range gaps on the free spare parts market.

  • What are the risks of imitation products?

    Manufacturers often advertise that their products boast improved characteristics compared with the original parts. However, their statement is often only based on a certain feature. In this context, it should be taken into consideration that the respective original product was specially tailored to its operational environment. The improvement of a feature may lead to deterioration of the overall system.

    For manufacturers of inexpensive imitations, the prescribed quality tests for the automobile application are not usually profitable. Strength and endurance problems of individual products may not be noticed.

    Manufacturers often advertise that their products boast improved characteristics compared with the original parts. However, their statement is often only based on a certain feature. In this context, it should be taken into consideration that the respective original product was specially tailored to its operational environment. The improvement of a feature may lead to deterioration of the overall system.

    For manufacturers of inexpensive imitations, the prescribed quality tests for the automobile application are not usually profitable. Strength and endurance problems of individual products may not be noticed.

Further information