Back in 2014 there was a huge bombshell from BaoFeng: all future radios, that were exported out of China, were going to be branded as ‘Pofung’. But 2014 has come and gone; and we are almost through 2015… but yet the majority of the BaoFeng radios are still branded as BaoFeng.
To get a clear understanding, we will go back to the central reason of the sudden name change: “Greed and Money”. But hold on – it was a third-party that was being ‘greedy’. It was simple exploitation of the trademark system. Way back in 2012; right after the US introduction of BaoFeng radios; an individual realized that the ‘BaoFeng’ name had not received a US trademark. The individual applied for the trademark and in January of 2014; was granted the trademark.
In January of 2014 - storefronts, re-sellers, auctions sites, and many other parties - started receiving lawsuits and impending action for ‘trademark infringement’. Of course, the exploiter would cease legal action against those parties… if they paid a ’ransom’.
There was no immediate remedy, and the only way to continue offering ‘BaoFeng’ radios internationally– was to change the brand name: ‘Pofung’.
The main goal was always to get back the rights of ‘BaoFeng’. It should have been clear to the Trademark system, that this was a case of ‘name squatting’; but even though that was the case – there is a due process to appeal the trademark. The timeline was not going to be quick; and during that time – many Pofung radios were introduced. That was even the case, during the introduction of the first high power BaoFeng (BF-F8HP) – we chose to include both brand names.
On October 22, 2014; BaoFeng and the consumers won! It was official; the exploiter was denied the rights to the BaoFeng name. During the appeals timeline, the trademark was registered to the appropriate owner; and ‘ransom letters’ were no longer being sent.
As we are coming up on the one-year anniversary of the case being closed, there is still some ‘fall-out’ from the dilemma. There is confusion to what a BaoFeng radio should be branded as. There is confusion if ‘Pofung’ radios are ‘counterfeit’. There is also some confusion if ‘Pofung’ means it’s newer.
As some have stated before – it has “muddied up the waters”. To bring clarity to the issue – we want consumers to know that: Pofung and BaoFeng radios are produced side-by-side; Pofung radios are not counterfeit, and there is no way to tell if a radio is ‘newer’ simply from a marking.
BaoFengTech.com keeps all BaoFeng inventory current. We air-ship all of our radios to the US, rather than using ocean freight (giving you radios that are produced in the same month). We are the only BaoFeng source that offers warranty and repair work: https://baofengtech.com/product-repair. So for a hassle-free experience when buying your BaoFeng radio online or at Amazon.com – make sure it says: “Sold by BaoFeng Tech”.
BaoFeng Tech is headquartered in Arlington, SD with distributors and partners around the globe. For more information see www.baofengtech.com.
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