I had seen this a couple days ago on OCN. Apparently there is a company dubbed “G-Vans” selling knock-off Lamptron products that look remarkably similar to the real deal. Amazingly, Lamptron retailers such as Performance-PCs and FrozenCPU have picked these up and are openly selling them, while they are still selling Lamptron products. The controllers seem to be the same price and even have the same model numbers.
After a little digging, it seems that G-Vans’ supply is (supposedly) actual Lamptron product. There is a statement on the G-Vans web site which has some unkind things to say about Lamptron. It appears to be a disgruntled former Lamptron purchaser that had access to the original factory. When Lamptron (reportedly) didn’t pay him, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Here is an example on Performance-PCs, a “G-Vans Fan Controller Touch“. If you recognize that, it’s because either they have de-branded a Lamptron Touch (which we reviewed in October, 2010) or completely copied the design.
Lamptron’s official statement:
This is an official public statement from Lamptron ® regarding the unauthorized use of Lamptron intellectual property to reproduce substandard copies of Lamptron products. We appreciate the time invested by online media sources and consumers who have assisted in reporting on this matter.
Here at Lamptron we strive for the best in product quality and customer service, and it is with this practice in mind that we are making this official statement regarding the unauthorized use of Lamptron property.
As of January 2012 we have been made aware of the presence of imitation products designed to mimic the look and function of official Lamptron brand products on the retail market. These reproductions have been made with unauthorized use of Lamptron production parts and designs, along with competing materials that may or may not be made of the same quality as used by official Lamptron production parts. We cannot be responsible for any present risk to the consumer and the hazards these products pose as cannot be overestimated, as these products are not tested and approved by Lamptron certified technicians. Each patented Lamptron design meets or exceeds safety and environmental regulations of each individual country in which we do business.
Our commitment to customer safety is of the highest priority and as options are explored to address this issue, any new information that becomes available will be published via our website www.Lamptron.com.
We would like to send a heartfelt thanks to our community of end-users for the feedback and assistance they have provided in this matter thus far and for that help provided we are offering to all major media outlets a chance to visit our production facilities first hand and speak one on one with the owner and staff at the corporate facility of Lamptron ® with your hotel and flight paid for by us.
If you would like more information on the matter, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or one of our many representatives online.
I was amazed when I first saw the post on OCN earlier, but Lamptron said they were going to release an official statement so this piece was held off. What’s really astounding is that their own retailers are selling these. They do look remarkably like the real deal and if G-Vans is to be believed, they may indeed be the real deal. If they’re not, Lamptron is out of China and if you don’t live under a rock you’ve seen news stories about how freely things can be copied over there (i.e. iPhones and the like).
Here’s hoping Lamptron can get this sorted and keep supplying computing enthusiasts with the solid products for which they’re known.
– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)