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HP again conducts raids in Chennai

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DQW Bureau
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In yet another drive against fake consumables, HP conducted raids in two

shops in the Ritchie Street market yesterday. This time, Ramdev Infotech and

Royal Computer Consumables were searched for fake and coun-terfeit products. The

authori-ties have seized some mate-rial from Ramdev, while just a search was

made at Royal and no stock was picked up from there.

However, no reseller was arrested and remanded as police demanded with HP

appointed agency–Enforcers of Intellectual Property Rights (EIPR))–to prove

the produ-cts were fake at the police station itself. This action of police has

given a new hope to resellers who were crying that they were unnecessarily

targeted and harassed by the vendors in the name of raids.

Presently, the case is pen-ding before the Police Commi-ssioner’s Office,

Egmore and the agency has been given time to prove that the produ-cts are fake

and counterfeit. Seized goods (cartridges) worth over Rs 60,000 of Ramdev

Infotech are lying in the police custody.

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"We are happy that police had stressed the right point by asking HP’s

agency to prove that the products are fake at the police station itself for the

arrest and remand of resellers. Otherwise, vendors just seize materials and file

a complaint against us without proving we are guilty," said a leading

consumables reseller in the market.

"HP is just trying to instill fear in the minds of resellers. It tries

to play with its money and muscle power against the resellers. However, they do

not know the strength of the channel community and soon, we will teach them the

right lesson," said another fuming reseller who also faced such kind of

raids in the past.

"We understand HP’s con-cern to control fake products but they should

target the right section and they should also have the mechanism to prove it at

the place of seizure itself. However, this time, the police came to the rescue

of the resellers and we are happy about it," said a leading peripheral

dealer.

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The resellers’ association–ITTA–has condemned this act of HP saying

frequent raids will affect the market senti-ments and business. "We will

provide all support to the vendors if they are correct. But, if they try to

demean us, we would not tolerate it. Parallel import products are legal and

genuine, and HP cannot term it as fake and arrest us. We can sell impor-ted

products coming through proper channel," stressed a top office-bearer of

ITTA.

Edward Rodrick, Director (Operations), EIPR, declined to comment anything on

this raid saying he is not autho-rized to speak to the media. This newspaper

also tried to reach the city crime branch police for their comment, but none was

available till the story went to the press.

S Gopikrishna


Chennai

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