Lamptron's Official Statement Regarding Unauthorized Reproductions

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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 info@lamptron.com 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)

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Discussion
  1. macklin01
    Ah, thanks. I was trying to see if you had more insight on the "dangerous products" claim by Lamptron, since it seems a bit melodramatic to me. (Lousy products that may not perform as expected? Sure, I buy that. Products that can physically harm people? Color me skeptical.)


    I totally agree with you. :thup:

    Sure, the overal quality of the product could be worse, but I believe its the same way with all the ripoff products.

    Being able to hurt a person in any physical way whatsoever - hell no.

    Worst thing a fan controller can do is die on you, which will (most likely) lead to you being pissed off. :shrug:
    macklin01
    Ah, thanks. I was trying to see if you had more insight on the "dangerous products" claim by Lamptron, since it seems a bit melodramatic to me. (Lousy products that may not perform as expected? Sure, I buy that. Products that can physically harm people? Color me skeptical.)


    Id be happy to address these concerns and your right to be skeptical over the whole thing, as the intention of this rival company was solely to introduce skepticism into this situation. The units that you see replacing ours in retail stores are being made from inferior products at a much cheaper price, this is how they are able to undermine our retail sales. They copy the same power specifications that we list on our product descriptions, as you may have seen...word for word, many of those descriptions I wrote myself personally to translate them into english, however the inferior components are not cable of handling these power spec's and thus cause the unit to fail in a normally catastrophic manner.

    Bobnova
    Probably refering to a lack of RoHS certification, either due to not paying the fees/bribes or due to using leaded solder.

    That is 100% guesswork on my part.

    Alternatively they may be saying it just as PR.

    Or they may be concerned that the new guy isn't using the same MOSFETs and/or control setup as the Lamptron unit, which may cause Exploded MOSFET Syndrome.

    I'd like to take this moment to call Lamptron out on their highly sketchy move of grinding the part ID numbers off the MOSFETs on their controllers. That's every bit as professional as a hand soldered wire on the PCB :D


    Although I was not able to include it in the statement, most of our newer products are indeed RoHS compliant, and we have an extensive engineering and quality control process to ensure that these units are safe. The last thing we want is someone burning their house down due to a fan controller.

    The removal of the part ID numbers is and was strictly for the purpose of preventing copies, and as you can tell from this experience we have now, it has worked. All of the imitations you see hitting the retail shelves do not use the same individual parts on the PCB's out of the sheer fact that they either cannot afford them or cannot locate the source.
    Probably refering to a lack of RoHS certification, either due to not paying the fees/bribes or due to using leaded solder.

    That is 100% guesswork on my part.

    Alternatively they may be saying it just as PR.

    Or they may be concerned that the new guy isn't using the same MOSFETs and/or control setup as the Lamptron unit, which may cause Exploded MOSFET Syndrome.

    I'd like to take this moment to call Lamptron out on their highly sketchy move of grinding the part ID numbers off the MOSFETs on their controllers. That's every bit as professional as a hand soldered wire on the PCB :D
    Mario1
    I was being sarcastic, I guess I fail at it.


    Ah, thanks. I was trying to see if you had more insight on the "dangerous products" claim by Lamptron, since it seems a bit melodramatic to me. (Lousy products that may not perform as expected? Sure, I buy that. Products that can physically harm people? Color me skeptical.)
    xXSebaSXx
    Simple... If I'm spending $50+ on a controller; I expect the manufacturer to have done some quality control on their end. That wire tells me that there was a trace missing on the design and that rather than correcting the PCB they went with the cheap alternative. And then there is the fact that the middle cap is already starting to bulge. No thanks.


    Maybe the problem was corrected in a newer PCB rev.

    If I was a manufacturer who built 50,000 PCBs that miss a trace I'd figure out a way to make those boards work too. Don't see how a wire bridge could hurt anyone.

    I believe the angle the picture is taken makes the mid cap look like its "starting to bulge".

    macklin01
    Care to elaborate on that?


    I was being sarcastic, I guess I fail at it.
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Lamptron/Fan_Controller_FC5/images/fc5rear.jpg

    Actually looks like a significantly different design.

    V2 version: http://skinflint.co.uk/?morepix=607980

    Assuming that thing is a FC5 clone, it looks like one.

    I wonder it Gvan grinds the ID label off the mosfets like Lamptron does.
    But does an official Lamptron unit have that wire? From what I've been able to see of Lamptron products outside controllers, I wouldn't be surprised to see such a wire in a Lamptron controller. Anyone have one from, say, a year ago to compare?
    Mario1
    Why not?

    I don't see anything wrong in that picture. It ain't like they're running a stripped wire through the components that shorts the sht out of everyting. :shrug:


    Simple... If I'm spending $50+ on a controller; I expect the manufacturer to have done some quality control on their end. That wire tells me that there was a trace missing on the design and that rather than correcting the PCB they went with the cheap alternative. And then there is the fact that the middle cap is already starting to bulge. No thanks.
    xXSebaSXx
    Putting aside whatever issues between Lamptron and whoever started G-Vans may exist... I don't think this is the type of product that I'd want in my computer case.



    Why not?

    I don't see anything wrong in that picture. It ain't like they're running a stripped wire through the components that shorts the sht out of everyting. :shrug:
    Putting aside whatever issues between Lamptron and whoever started G-Vans may exist... I don't think this is the type of product that I'd want in my computer case.
    "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."

    The "G-Vans" fan controllers are really dangerous, I almost got poisoned by one.

    If I only knew that it wasn't inspected by a Lamptron certified technician before buying it...
    Sounds like the Lamptron flavor of the Foxconn issues that have plagued everybody.

    Also known as "Welcome to using dirt cheap unethical Chinese labor to build your products".

    While I do not like, condone, or support theft of IP, I have to think that maybe, just maybe, the guy should have been paid as promised. From my brief survey this morning it looks like this is a fairly clear cut case of "what goes around comes around", and/or the Golden Rule.