Schaeffler has 30,000 counterfeits destroyed

© Somsak/
Schaeffler, the global automotive and industrial supplier, has now initiated destruction of around ten tonnes of counterfeit rolling bearings. Generally, Schaeffler is taking resolute action against counterfeiting – also making use of targeted communications.

In late March, the Schaeffler Group reported that it had around 30,000 counterfeit rolling bearings destroyed. The destroyed counterfeits had mainly been identified and seized during investigations in Europe over the past two and a half years. On the premises of a recycling company close to Schweinfurt, in northern Bavaria, the counterfeits were first rendered unusable and are subsequently melted down. This prevents the potentially dangerous fake goods from being used; and it also ensures that the steel they were made of can be re-used, the group says.

Schaeffler regularly takes action against counterfeiting of its products with its own Global Brand Protection Team. In addition to criminal prosecution, counterfeiters might also face civil legal claims for cease and desist, damages, and the release of the counterfeits for destruction, explains Dr. Edgar Duschl, Senior Vice President Intellectual Property at Schaeffler.

// In our view, it is important to raise awareness of this issue among all participants along the entire value-added chain, including distributors, repair shops, and end customers.
Martin Rügemer, Global Brand Protection Team, Schaeffler

Schaeffler also employs targeted communications for its brand protection. The company’s brand protection team believes that informing dealers and end customers is important in the fight against counterfeiting. For example, Schaeffler regularly offers training sessions for dealers. Furthermore, Schaeffler provides its OriginCheck app for dealers and customers, which can be used to check products on a smartphone, including those of the group’s brands INA, LuK, and FAG. People can also easily send pictures of suspicious products to Schaeffler’s brand protection team.

Counterfeiting and IP infringements are a major challenge for many companies in the mechanical engineering sector: Around three-quarters of Germany’s mechanical and plant engineering companies are affected – and in 2021 alone, lost revenue due to counterfeiting is estimated to reach a staggering 6.4 billion euros. This is according to a recent study by the German industry association VDMA. According to Schaeffler, counterfeit rolling bearings or ball bearings, such as those that have now been destroyed, can also represent a relevant safety risk.

Metallschrott in Container
Bild: Schaeffler (Berny Meyer)
Arbeiter vor Metallschrott
Bild: Schaeffler (Berny Meyer)
Metallschrott an Magnetkran
Bild: Schaeffler (Berny Meyer)
Sources: Schaeffler, BR 24

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