IBM Says E-Tailer's Laptop Batteries Are Flammable Fakes - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Hardware & Infrastructure
11:08 AM

IBM Says E-Tailer's Laptop Batteries Are Flammable Fakes

IBM says in a lawsuit that is "offering counterfeit IBM products which pose a substantial threat to the safety of the consuming public."

IBM has filed a lawsuit against a company that sells replacement laptop batteries over the Internet, claiming that the batteries are knockoffs that have a tendency to catch fire.

In court papers filed last week, IBM says that is "offering counterfeit IBM products which pose a substantial threat to the safety of the consuming public."

IBM says it discovered the alleged counterfeits after Shentech sold what was supposed to have been a genuine IBM laptop battery to a consumer in Ohio. The battery caught fire and damaged the buyer's IBM Thinkpad. IBM says it learned the battery was a fake after investigating the incident and tracing the battery to its source.

IBM says it subsequently bought 12 IBM laptop batteries from Shentech's Web site. "Each battery was analyzed. Each battery is a counterfeit product," IBM said in papers filed in U.S. District Court in Northern Ohio.

IBM is asking the court for an order that would prohibit Shentech from claiming that any of the products it sells are made by IBM. The company is also seeking unspecified, "treble" damages, or $1 million for each instance of counterfeiting by Shentech.

In an unusual step, IBM is also asking the court for an order that would expedite discovery and prohibit Shentech from destroying any evidence related to the case.

"Counterfeiters are notorious for poor record keeping and for abandoning businesses at the first hint that the genuine manufacturer is taking steps to enforce its rights," IBM says.

The risk that Shentech will destroy evidence related to the case "is grave," IBM adds.

A woman who answered Shentech's sales phone on Wednesday said Shentech executives were not immediately available for comment.

According to the company's Web site, Shentech is based in Queens, New York, and has been in business since 1999. As of Wednesday, it was still offering products billed as IBM laptop batteries, along with a host of other computer peripherals, for sale on its site. is registered to an individual named Charlie Shen, according to Internet records.

IBM sold its PC business, including the Thinkpad brand, to Lenovo in 2005. Counterfeit or not, Thinkpad batteries have in the past been prone to overheating. IBM and Lenovo in 2006 announced a joint recall of more than 160,000 laptop batteries because they posed a fire risk.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
10 Ways to Prepare Your IT Organization for the Next Crisis
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/20/2020
IT Spending Forecast: Unfortunately, It's Going to Hurt
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/15/2020
Helping Developers and Enterprises Answer the Skills Dilemma
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/19/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll