Fujifilm is tired of having their brand tarnished by fake and imported, or grey market as it is known, gear and to hit the issue head on the company has targeted 50 defendants in a new suit which they hope can shut the issue down.
From the consumer side these Grey Market imports can look like incredible deals, much of the time being sold for hundreds of dollars cheaper than the legitimately imported Fujifilm products. But Fujifilm contends that in many cases these imports can differ from the correctly imported products in many ways and are likely not up to the same standard – they may not even be up to US code – in some aspects.
For Fujifilm, the issue lies in that consumers are purchasing these grey market imports and in many cases they are unaware that they have one. So if something breaks, is defective, or if the product is a knockoff and not real Fujifilm is the company they go to for answers, and it is Fujifilm’s reputation that is hurt because of it.
“Defendants’ importation … and/or sale within the US of grey market cameras intended for markets outside of the US is likely to result in consumer confusion and stymie FNAC’s [Fujifilm North America Corporation’s] quality control efforts, causing irreparable harm to FNAC that will continue unless such conduct is enjoined,” Fujifilm explains in the suit.
In terms of the result, Fujifilm is asking for an injunction that prevents the 50 named defendants from importing the products further, as well as the recovery of damages (actual, statutory, punitive, and triple), profits, costs, attorneys’ fees and more from the defendants.
This should have little to no effect on genuine Fujifilm products or sales, but if you have been looking at grey market gear, it’s likely you notice less of it around sooner than later if this suit goes Fujifilm’s way.