Canon wins lawsuit against counterfeit battery sellers on eBay

Jan 18, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Canon wins lawsuit against counterfeit battery sellers on eBay

Jan 18, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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I don’t know why, but I always get a shock when I see how many fake products there are out there. Not clearly marked 3rd party alternatives, but products actually designed and branded to look like the originals. We see it with memory cards regularly and even camera strap accessories, but fake batteries are also out there. Canon has been doing something about the latter, though.

Canon has announced that they’ve won a lawsuit against two eBay sellers for selling counterfeit “Canon” batteries. While 2 sellers may not sound like a lot, the fact that Canon even went after them is certainly going to give other counterfeit sellers some pause for thought.

Press releases don’t usually come after a company goes after somebody for trademark infringement. If they did, that’s pretty much all you’d ever see on the Disney website, but Canon did put out a press release regarding this one last week.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. and its parent company, Canon Inc. of Japan, are pleased to announce that the companies have won a lawsuit involving the unauthorized and infringing use of the Canon trademarks and the illegal sale of counterfeit “Canon” merchandise against two defendants in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge C. Darnell Jones II entered a Final Consent Judgment on December 12, 2019 prohibiting the defendants from infringing and counterfeiting the valuable Canon trademarks. As part of the resolution, the defendants also paid a significant amount of money to Canon for their unlawful activities.

Below is a copy of the court documents, obtained by PetaPixel.

As well as obviously protecting their intellectual property, Canon says their goal was the protect the health and safety of Canon customers. After all, we don’t know what battery cells are being put into these fakes, or how good their electronic protection circuits are to prevent over or undercharging that can cause lithium-ion batteries to explode.

Reports of exploding “Canon” batteries wouldn’t be very good for their PR, either, especially they’re not actually Canon batteries, but misidentified fakes. Canon also has a video and a dedicated page on their website about how to spot whether you’ve got a fake battery, and what to do about it if you receive one.

YouTube video

While fakes like these, pretending to be original batteries, obviously pose some potential risk, you do have to be careful with 3rd party batteries, too. If you go the 3rd party route, make sure you buy from a name people have heard of with a good reputation. Or, just buy the originals.

Canon isn’t the only company that’s been the target of fake batteries. Nikon, too, has seen its share, with some pretty major retailers even being duped into stocking and selling them unknowingly. Fakes get harder and harder to spot as the counterfeiters get better.

Have you ever been sold a fake camera battery?

[via Canon Watch]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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8 responses to “Canon wins lawsuit against counterfeit battery sellers on eBay”

  1. Huge Dom Avatar
    Huge Dom

    Would be nice for them to issue certification to 3rd party battery makers to design and build to their spec, such as what Apple does with cables and get themselves out of the accessories resale business.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Are batteries really an accessory though? They’re pretty integral to the device. Third party certification would be nice, but I can’t see them doing it. They make too much money on their own. :)

      1. Huge Dom Avatar
        Huge Dom

        Same could be said about the charging cable for a phone and Apple understands customers not willing to pay their premium prices/quality will find 3rd party options and with the certification route Apple at least still recap some of the profits otherwise completely lost to aftermarket.

        1. Kaouthia Avatar
          Kaouthia

          Perhaps. Of course, lightning cables typically don’t have an internal chemical reaction that can potentially make them explode. I can understand why a company wouldn’t want to say “Yes, this company can make batteries for our system”. Especially when they have to think about the lowest common denominator user.

    2. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      that is actually not a bad idea at all. Though Camera makers are making so much money off of batteries, that I doubt they will let that golden-egg laying goose go

  2. Duncan Rounding Avatar
    Duncan Rounding

    Counterfeit or third party compatible?

    The only reason people buy non Canon originals is the crazy price Canon charge for them.

    1. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      Addressed in literally the second sentence of the article you didn’t read. :)

  3. Darren Bannister Avatar
    Darren Bannister

    Ive been using 3rd party batteries for the canon 5Dmkiii for years. Never had any issues apart from the warning canon shows when turning the camera on. Acturally to tell the truth the original master canon battery was the 1st battery to stop charging. It would not charge on the canon charger but when i placed it in a 3rd party charger its fine. Like the batteries have logged how many cycles they have done then talk to the canon charger and say dont charge me… I can buy 10 cheap 3rd party batteries for the same price as a genuine canon battery.