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Suspiciously Similar: SEMA exhibitor selling knock-off SATA shut down by police, assets seized

Las Vegas, Nevada — A Chinese paint hardware company is paying a high price for counterfeiting after the global paint giants at SATA spotted PHX Refinish Co. selling copycat versions of the German company’s products on the SEMA Show floor earlier in November.

SEMA Show attendees got a surprise show with their convention ticket this year, as Las Vegas Metropolitan Police converged on the booth of the corner-cutting refinish company and seized all of their products, equipment, and even their phones, leaving only an empty rectangle of carpet.

According to SATA, an order to collect outstanding payment was extended to PHX Refinish Co. through collaboration with the Metropolitan Police and the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the subsequent seizure of assets came as a result of a refusal to pay.

The offenders clearing out their booth.

This marks the third time the company, which has changed its name just as many times, has run afoul of SATA.

The first accusation was levelled in 2016 and resulted in a lawsuit, when the company, then operating as Hangzhou Phoenix Automotive Refinishing Co., was called out by SATA for selling counterfeit RPS paint cups to a U.S.-based company operating out of California.

The second incident occurred on the show floor of SEMA 2017 when the company was operating as Phoenix Automotive Refinishing. At the show, two SATA representatives identified more counterfeit products for sale, which led to another lawsuit for which the company was awarded “a quite substantial compensation payment,” according to SATA’s press release.

“SATA will further monitor potential infringers and their activities worldwide online, in the market and on trade fairs and will take actions against infringers consequently. Such actions are not limited to manufacturers of patent or trademark infringing products but are also focused to dealers of SATA copies in any country worldwide,” read an excerpt from the release.

Have you ever stumbled upon counterfeit parts or products while on the job? What are the clues to show you that a piece of equipment might be a fake? Let us know in the comments.

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