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manufacturers to join anti-copy initiative

European AV resellers and integrators attending a meeting of the Genuine Lamps Alliance (GLA) in Amsterdam called on projector lamp manufacturers to join the Alliance's anti-copy lamp initiative.

Founded with the support of international lamp distributor Just Lamps, the GLA campaigns to bring the issue of counterfeit, or 'copy lamps', to the attention of the distribution channel, consumers, institutional and business buyers. Copy lamps often infringe intellectual property rights, offer inferior performance and, in some instances, cause equipment damage or even physical injury.

Members of the GLA are committed to selling only genuine projector lamps. Genuine lamps comply with intellectual property rights, guarantee the user a specified level of performance and are tested to ensure that health and safety standards are met.

The copy lamp problem is increasing in scale in Europe, and without further action to educate and inform end-users it could reach similar levels to the United States and Asia, where up to 40 per cent of projector lamps sold are believed to be copies. Tempted by artificially low prices, unwary buyers of replacement projector lamps can be duped into buying products which are inferior in quality, which might invalidate any warranty that they hold on their projectors and which might even be dangerous.

From its formation in April 2009, the GLA has worked to raise awareness of the copy lamps problem through the publication of White Papers, educational resources and web sites. The Alliance has produced an advisory video which GLA members are adding to their web sites. To bring further pressure to bear on retailers, resellers and distributors of copy lamps, Philips has taken legal action to enforce its intellectual property rights with a view to driving copy lamps out of the market.

At the Amsterdam meeting of the GLA, reseller members called on projector lamp manufacturers to join Philips in supporting the Alliance. GLA spokesperson Chris Deeley of Elementary Technology said, "The copy lamp issue has an increasing impact on our end-user customers and on the legitimate channel to market for replacement projector lamps. As members of the GLA, we are committed to selling only genuine lamps, but the commercial pressures to sell copies are intense. It is important that the leading lamp manufacturers join Philips in this initiative to educate the market."

GLA members will display the Alliance's 'tick mark' on their web site and literature to reassure their customers that they are a supplier of genuine products only.

Deeley added, "We supply corporate and institutional customers and we go to great lengths to ensure that we meet the quality, ethical and safety standards that these customers demand. In other regions of the world, the copy lamp problem is rife and it is important that we take action now to prevent it escalating in Europe. Manufacturers, distributors and resellers should speak with one voice on this issue."

In a resolution approved at the Amsterdam meeting, GLA members elected to increase the reseller membership of the Alliance from the initial founding group to the point where the membership represents a significant majority of the European market for replacement lamps. With the support of the projector lamp manufacturers, Alliance members will communicate the anti-copy message to the end-user community, limiting the impact of copy lamps on the European market.