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FCC Busts California Company for Importing Illegal Phones

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May 20, 2014, 8:40 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

The Federal Communications Commission today cited a company based in California, called Panasystem, for importing and marketing counterfeit smartphones. The devices, which were fake Samsung Galaxy S Duos, Samsung Galaxy Ace, and BlackBerry 9790 smartphones, were all stamped with unauthorized and invalid FCC identifiers. Each and every device that emits radio signals must be tested and certified by the FCC before they can be legally sold in the U.S. This is so the FCC can ascertain their safety for public use. Devices that meet the criteria have a unique identifier code that is often plainly visible on the device somewhere. Most cell phones stamp the FCC ID under the battery. Devices that have enclosed batteries put the FCC ID out the outside casing, typically on the back. "We will not tolerate the importation and marketing of counterfeit devices," said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. "The trafficking of these devices not only robs the intellectual property of legitimate manufacturers, it harms consumers by failing to provide them with safe and certified smartphones that comply with the FCC's equipment authorization process." The FCC said Panasystem must cease importing fake phones with fake FCC IDs, lest it face significant fines, equipment seizures, criminal sanctions and/or imprisonment.


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