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Empire Level Manufacturing Co. continues to chase copycat firms

MUKWONAGO, WI (WTAQ) - A Mukwonago company that makes measuring tools and levels says it’s doing more to go after Chinese firms which make and sell copy-cat products.

The Empire Level Manufacturing Company has been in business for 94 years. It invented the leveling tool that’s used today by builders and do-it-yourselfers.

Company president Jenni Becker said her firm has spent over a decade fighting Chinese copycats. It goes in spurts, and Becker says there’s been a resurgence in copyright thefts over the past two years.

Empire has issued dozens of cease and desist letters to Chinese manufacturers – and the U.S. distributors and stores which handle the products.

She said Empire has also recovered legal fees in certain cases, but it can be hard to trace the manufacturing culprits because they operate under a variety of names.

Becker said most retailers are cooperative once they learn that they’re selling counterfeit items.