Compaq, U.S. Marshals Seize Alleged Counterfeit Components


Will seek millions in damages


Compaq Computer and the U.S. Marshals Office seized a large number of allegedly counterfeit products during a late January raid of Hardware 4 Less, a computer parts wholesaler in Bow, N.H.

Compaq has not determined the value of the products that were seized, but said it will seek damages of several million dollars. The products seized include memory boards, hard drives, Compaq labels, packing materials, warranty booklets and software licenses.

Compaq alleges that Hardware 4 Less supplied counterfeit computer memory components to other wholesalers seeking to fulfill customer orders.

The Houston-based manufacturer obtained a search-and-seizure order from the U.S. District Court in New Hampshire.

Hardware 4 Less does not have a contractual relationship to sell or distribute Compaq products, a Compaq spokeswoman said.

Hardware 4 Less executives could not be reached for comment.

The seized products are being held by the federal court in New Hampshire, where proceedings against Hardware 4 Less will continue, Compaq said.

"This action demonstrates Compaq's determination to stop counterfeiting of its products and to punish those who seek to profit from breaking the law," said Thomas Siekman, Compaq senior vice president and general counsel. "We will continue to protect our customers, our authorized sales channel partners, and the Compaq brand from the damage done by sales of counterfeit products.

Compaq learned of the possible counterfeit products when an end user called Compaq for service on an unlicensed memory board purchased through Hardware 4 Less.

Compaq puts security labels on hard drives, memory and processors that enable Compaq and customers to verify product authenticity, the company said.