The Fight Against Counterfeit Product… Packaging?

In the cable business, REELEX leads the battle against knockoff wire cartons.>

REELEX Packaging Solutions, inventor of a packaging system which incorporates a specialized cable coil wind-pattern and payout dispenser, is embarking on an anti-counterfeiting campaign aimed at educating installers of the perils of using knock-off REELEX packaging systems and non-compliant cables.

The company also vows to continue to pursue measures against wire and cable brands that violate its patents and trademarks.

The Patterson, N.Y.-based company makes a patented, trademarked method of winding cable into a figure-eight coil that in turn, does not rotate during payout. This approach dates back to World WarW II as a method for U.S. soldiers on the front lines to more efficiently run wire from their backpacks. Today, the patented coil method is used in bulk cartons of LAN and low-voltage cables across A/V, security and electrical channels, and greatly benefits installers conducting one-man wire-pulls.

In optimizing each coil, factors such as gain, payout hole control and the density of the wind, along with progressive coil tension, are all instrumental in producing tangle-free packages. Void of any moving parts, the REELEX coil dispenses from the inside-out with a clear path, thus avoiding the twists, tangles and snags that plague knockoff bulk wire cartons. This unique coil can only be produced via unique, licensed software on a specialized machine purchased by a wire / cable manufacturer.

Video below shows the different payout mechanisms for cable.

“Counterfeit boxes do not use the same technology as our licensees use,” says Timothy Copp, vice president of business development at REELEX. “It is important that the installer understand there are genuine REELEX boxes and there are knock-off boxes, and when the package isn’t genuine, it’s very likely the cable isn’t either. This leads to problematic wire-pulls; additionally inferior cable leads to the installer potentially having to re-wire the job in the future.”

Among the cable brands recognizable to integrators that currently use the company’s coiling system include Arrow Wire & Cable, Belden, CommScope, Honeywell, ICE, Keystone, Southwire (formerly Coleman Cable) and Windy City Wire.  In all, more than 100 licensees use the technology. The best way for an installer to know they are using genuine REELEX technology is to look for the trademark printed on the box.

“The contract with our licensees says that the REELEX mark is required to be printed on all boxes utilizing REELEX technology,” Copp notes, “this is to clearly identify to the installer that they are unquestionably getting a genuine product that will work as intended. It also assists REELEX in legally bringing potential infringement cases to court.”

However, not even that is foolproof. Copp showed CE Pro how even the trademarked logo has appeared falsely on packaging from overseas.

The company has created a video that depicts their patented packaging systems; how to identify genuine cartons and features a side-by-side pull-test depicting a knock-off carton failing versus that of REELEX-enabled carton.

“Counterfeit and substandard LAN and other low-voltage cables are an ongoing issue in the industry, evidenced by educational initiatives and other actions being pushed by the Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA) and UL,” adds Copp. “REELEX is wholly-committed to protecting its licensees’ investments in genuine patented and trademarked REELEX packaging technology. These measures include legal action against patent offenders, restrictions on importation of patent or trademark-infringing products, and more.”