United States District Court for the District of Arizona has rendered its final decision in the lawsuit entitled AFL Telecommunications LLC v. Fiberoptic Hardware, LLC. The court entered judgment against Fiberoptic Hardware, and in favor of AFL, including both an award of monetary damages and a permanent injunction, based on AFL's claims that Fiberoptic Hardware had sold unauthorized Fujikura fusion splicers in violation of AFL's rights in the Fujikura trademark and that Fiberoptic Hardware had falsely advertised those splicers.
The judgment was based on AFL's contentions that the Fujikura fusion splicers sold by Fiberoptic Hardware, which were intended for sale outside North America, were materially different from authentic Fujikura fusion splicers authorized for sale in the U.S. in that, among other things, their software was not properly licensed for use in the U.S. and had been modified to alter the language display, and that their sale was likely to confuse purchasers. The judgment was also based on AFL's contention that Fiberoptic Hardware's advertising of those splicers as "new" constituted false advertising.
"AFL is pleased with the judgment, and we will continue to defend Fujikura's technology, patents and copyrights on an ongoing basis to protect our customers from substandard products and services," stated Steve Althoff, EVP for AFL's Equipment Business. "When companies like Fiberoptic Hardware sell altered products, our customers are the real losers. They believe that they are receiving authentic Fujikura goods directly from Fujikura, and they come to find out that they are not. They get confused, and they feel violated because the trust is lost. AFL and Fujikura have a solid reputation, and we will continue to uphold the exceptional standards we have set forth."
AFL filed the case in May 2011, and the U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction in October 2011. The permanent injunction entered on May 31, 2012 prohibits Fiberoptic Hardware, along with its officers, employees, and others working with it, from "importing, exporting, distributing, circulating, selling, offering for sale, advertising, promoting or displaying any fusion splicer bearing any of the FUJIKURA Marks" if the splicers have been modified or are not authorized for sale in the U.S. Fiberoptic Hardware is owned by George Kyrias and Chris Wood is the company's sales manager.
AFL is the exclusive distributor of Fujikura fusion splicers and its operating software for the countries located within North America. Fujikura is the worldwide owner of the copyright for the operating software that controls all of its "FSM" fusion splicers. For additional information about AFL and its products, visit www.AFLglobal.com.
AFL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujikura, provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid. The company's diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL's service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting both the central office and outside plant areas.
Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Asia. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit www.AFLglobal.com.
Fujikura is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and manufactures products for the telecommunications, electronics, automotive and energy sectors. Fujikura's fusion splicers are well-known for performance, productivity and reliability. AFL offers the most extensive line of Fujikura fusion splicers and related equipment for field splicing and factory/laboratory use. All fusion splicers sold by AFL are backed with a factory warranty and a 24/7 technical support team. For more information, visit www.fujikura.com.
Susanne Hite, Director of Marketing Communications
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