John Szczsponik, senior vice president at Texas Instruments; George Langer, worldwide program manager at Intel; and Andrew Olney, director of quality at Analog Devices, recommend the following steps to help thwart counterfeiters:

Component makers should

  • Take back as much unused inventory as possible so it won’t be resold in the open market.
  • Scrap defective components themselves or independently verify that a second or third party has done so.
  • Make access to authorized channels as easy as possible, such as putting a distributor site “one click” away from the supplier’s site.
  • Make it possible for customers to verify that a part is authentic. —Intel embeds software in its microprocessors that allows customers to do this.
  • Steer customers toward companies such as Rochester Electronics, which is authorized to distribute excess inventory and manufacture obsolete components.
  • Take legal action against counterfeiters when possible.
  • Register their trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Customers should

  • Develop an “approved procurement list” in addition to an “approved vendor list” (AVL). An AVL specifies only what component to buy—not where it should be bought.
  • Stop selling excess components into the open market.
  • Stop buying products on the open market simply because they are cheaper: If parts are available through authorized channels, buy them there.
  • Share incidences of counterfeit part availability or component failure with component vendors: The vendors may be able to trace the component back to the counterfeit.
  • Contact their supplier if they suspect that a part is not authentic.
  • Chip makers step up anti-counterfeiting efforts.

By Barbara Jorgensen, Senior Editor Electronic Business, 10/31/2006

Brian Hughitt from NASA Headquarters, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance suggests those for the disposition of counterfeit parts:

  • Do not return to seller!
  • Impound and Quarantine
  • Report to other stakeholders/buyers (GIDEP, ERAI)
  • Report to criminal investigative authorities