A seize and destroy warrant has been served on two resellers in Australia for more than 6,000 counterfeit Epson printer ink-cartridges, after the vendor uncovered an illegal set-up operating out of China.

Australian Customs also seized more than 3,000 illegal cartridges worth around A$350,000 (£127,000) as they were being imported into Australia in the last few months. The products have been traced to a factory in China, which is now closed while its owners face prosecution under Chinese law.

Epson's stance against pirated products has not come without a price - staff members have reportedly received death threats and security has been tightened.

The cartridges carry a fake Epson trademark - an offence under the Trade Practices Act and the Australian Trademarket Act 1995.

"The counterfeit cartridges create a significant problem, not just for Epson and its distributors and resellers who sell genuine Epson cartridges, but also for consumers," said an Epson spokesperson, adding that unauthorized ink cartridges could damage the print head of printers.

The raids on the Australian operations were carried out under an Anton Pillar order - a seize and destroy mandate granted by the Federal Court of Australia. As a result, one of the resellers has closed down, while the other has agreed to a financial settlement with the vendor. Epson declined to name the resellers involved.

"The Epson trademark is extremely valuable and we will take whatever steps we can to protect it," the spokesperson said.