Counterfeiting and other unauthorized uses of FM Approvals’ certification marks could cause considerable harm to our customers and the public at large. It’s our policy to diligently pursue counterfeiting and other misuses of FM Approvals’ certification marks whenever they are brought to our attention in order to preserve the integrity of the FM Approvals’ certification mark and FM Approved products.
Types of Infringements
FM Approvals classifies infringements into the following three general categories:
- Counterfeit—a product that is not FM Approved but bears the FM Approvals mark(s) and is not made by the manufacturer of record (OEM) but by a manufacturer or distributor claiming that it meets FM Approvals requirements. This also includes the usage of the FM Approvals certification mark on a counterfeit certificate used in an attempt to validate the Approval of a product as being FM Approved.
- Unauthorized product modification—an FM Approved product currently manufactured by the OEM that is inconsistent with currently Approved design (includes marking Approved product that has been determined to have quality or performance deficiencies).
- Misrepresentation of FM APPROVED marks or unauthorized use of intellectual property—an OEM or an entity with a business relationship with the OEM using the FM Approved mark on a product that is not FM Approved and/or misrepresenting the product on a trading platform. This includes misrepresentation of FM Approved marks or unauthorized use of intellectual property (e.g., certificate, reports).
We encourage everyone to notify us and provide evidence if and when any of the above misuses are taking place.
How We Take Action
The initial notification of a possible infringement on FM Approvals’ certification marks, known as a Notification of Concern (NoC), may come from various sources, including authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), end users, manufacturers or distributors.
All NoCs are routed immediately to our Quality Assurance group. The Quality Assurance team then investigates the NoC to determine if further action is required. If a clear risk is posed or if counterfeiting is verified, we will issue a Product Alert to the public, explaining how to identify the hazard (e.g., a counterfeit sprinkler).
Under the unauthorized product modification and misrepresentation of FM APPROVED marks or unauthorized use of intellectual property categories, the manufacturer of the FM Approved product associated with the NoC is notified of the potential infringement and may be asked to submit a plan to correct the infringement. If these measures fail to correct the situation, additional action may be taken, including litigation.
In case of counterfeiting products, FM Approvals works with the OEM to develop a plan to address the nonconformance. The plan may include investigation, sourcing of counterfeit product and, ultimately, litigation.