FEDERAL REGULATIONS

Counterfeit keys are illegal. Explore the most common violations.


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TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT


It is a federal crime to knowingly manufacture or resell goods under someone else’s name without their permission. Beyond avoiding counterfeit products with fraudulent OEM logos, resellers should avoid counterfeit keys and remotes with OEM part numbers on the product or packaging. This practice is considered deceptive and violates US Trademark law.




COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT


Modern car keys require software known as “firmware” to operate. Just like other published material, firmware code is protected by copyright law. It is illegal to extract a manufacturer’s firmware code and reinstall it onto non-OEM circuit boards without the original copyright holder’s authorization.

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FCC VIOLATIONS


Because they emit radio signals, modern car keys must meet Federal Communications Commission standards to ensure they operate within their designated FCC-approved radio frequency (RF) spectrum and are unlikely to interfere with other devices. After they’re tested and certified, each key design is assigned a unique FCC ID number that must be displayed on every product (not just the package) signifying compliance.





FTC REGULATIONS


The automotive key replacement industry often relies on remanufactured OEM products to deliver value to customers. However, remanufactured products packaged for resale should be identified as such. The Federal Trade Commission prohibits suppliers from representing used product as new.

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