Square D, best known in the United States as the flagship brand for the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division, said it has filed suit against Breakers Unlimited Inc. of Noblesville, Ind., in the United States District Court in Indianapolis, Ind. The attorney for Breakers Unlimited did not want to comment at presstime.

The lawsuit asserts that Breakers Unlimited, a nationwide wholesale distributor of electrical equipment, has knowingly sold counterfeit Square D circuit breakers and has infringed Square D's trademarks in violation of federal law. Square D seeks to enjoin Breakers Unlimited's continued distribution of allegedly counterfeit products and seeks to recover profits made by Breakers Unlimited on its sales of allegedly counterfeit products, along with treble damages, attorney fees and costs.

Brian W. Lewis of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP in Chicago, who represents Square D as litigation counsel, said Square D will seek a temporary injunction against Breakers Unlimited in the near future.

Square D said it has every intention of pursuing counterfeiters up and down the distribution chain. “We'll stop at nothing to preserve the integrity of our products and protect innocent customers from the serious health and safety hazards associated with counterfeit products,” said Bill Snyder, vice president channel development for Schneider Electric North American Operating Division.

“Distributors need to be aware that there are hidden and potentially deadly hazards associated with counterfeit circuit breakers being distributed on the market today,” said Jim Pauley, vice president of industry and government relations for Schneider Electric North American Operating Division. “By identifying counterfeit products and reporting counterfeiters, distributors can save lives.”

Square D said in order to prevent the potential purchase of counterfeit products, customers should continue to purchase their Square D products from authorized Square D distributors.