AFL prevails in lawsuit against Fiberoptic Hardware

Court finds the plaintiff lost more than $7,000 for every fusion splicer sold on the gray market.

AFL Telecommunications has won its legal case against Fiberoptic Hardware and has been awarded $217,341 in damages. In an order dated May 31, 2012, United States District Court Judge David G. Campbell granted AFL's motion for judgment while denying the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration and request for leave to file an amended complaint.

Evidence presented during the case proved, to the court's satisfaction, that AFL lost that sum - $217,341 - when Fiberoptic Hardware LLC sold unauthorized Fujikura fusion splicers. The judgment also stated that, having proven its case, AFL also will be awarded certain other costs to be determined by the court.

AFL explained that in the case, its contention was that "the Fujikura fusion splicers sold by Fiberoptic Hardware, which were intended for sale outside North America, were materially different from authentic Fujikura fusion splicers authorized for sale in that U.S. in that, among other things, their software was not properly licensed for use in the U.S. and had been modified to alter the language display, and that their sale was likely to confuse purchasers." AFL also contended that Fiberoptic Hardware sold the splicers under the premise they were new, which AFL alleged was false advertising.

Steve Althoff, executive vice president for AFL's equipment business, said the company "is pleased with the judgment," and vowed to continue defending technology, patents and copyrights belonging to Fujikura. He added that when anyone sells altered products, "our customers are the real losers. They believe that they are receiving authentic Fujikura goods directly from Fujikura, and they come to find out that they are not. They get confused, and they feel violated because the trust is lost."

The order from Judge Campbell, which can be downloaded from in PDF format here, detailed how AFL's monetary loss for each splicer sold by Fiberoptic Hardware was approximately $7,011. The award amount was based on that per-sale loss.

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