UCC/GS1 Settlement Agreement

In 2005, the UCC (Uniform Code Council) changed it’s name to the GS1, which it is known as today.  Prior, in 2002, the UCC lost a class action suit to it’s members which now enables any businesses who owned prefixes prior to 2002 to keep their prefix and use them and/or sell them without renewal fees.  This settlement is what enables SnapUPC to sell valid UPC codes worldwide to customers.  The GS1 now charges upfront fees as well as annual renewal fees, along with minimum order quantities.  Because many businesses only need 1 code, 5 codes, or 10 codes, buying from SnapUPC not only saves businesses a substantial amount of money, but also time.  Our bulk quantity orders are also far cheaper than the GS1 since there are no hidden fees, renewal fees, and are lifetime guaranteed.  The vast majority of retailers DO NOT require you rent codes from the GS1.  All of the codes we sell at SnapUPC will work for your UPC barcode needs, worldwide.  You can purchase as many as you need here.

The GS1 system originated in the United States and was established in 1973 by the Uniform Product Code Council, subsequently known as the Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC). Following the success of this U.P.C. system, the European Article Numbering Association, subsequently known as EAN International, was established in 1977 to develop a compatible system for use outside North America. In February 2005, GS1 was officially launched as the successor to the organisations previously known as EAN and UCC, and the system became known under its current name: The GS1 system. The GS1 system of standards aims to raise the efficiency of business processes and to provide cost savings through automation based on globally unique identification and digital information. (?)

You can find the original UCC settlement agreement below for your reference:

The class action suit filed by:
Lukins & Annis, P.S.
1405 South Pioneer Way
Moses Lake, WA 98837-2458
Phone: (509) 765-9555
Fax: (509) 765-4265
has been settled and those who signed up as part of the class have been paid. If a person or company did not specifically opt-out of the class-action suit, they are bound by the settlement and cannot file a new lawsuit for the same grievance. It does not matter what state they are in or even if they were not aware of the suit.

CASE OVERVIEW: Uniform Code Council Reaches $3.89 Million Settlement with Long-Time Members in Renewal Fee Action The parties have reached a tentative $3,895,000 settlement in a nationwide action filed against the Uniform Code Council, Inc. on behalf of all persons that paid a membership fee to and acquired a company prefix from UCC prior to August 28, 2002, and to whom UCC mailed an unreturned “renewal invoice” for membership in UCC, or who otherwise paid a renewal fee to UCC.

The action alleged that the company violated its own contract with exempt customers by attempting to require them to pay unnecessary fees. To take part in the settlement, participants must submit a claim form postmarked no later than March 10, 2004.

This lawsuit claims that businesses that paid membership fees to UCC and acquired a company prefix from UCC prior to August 28, 2002, are not obligated to pay annual “renewal fees” to UCC. UCC began sending annual “renewal fee” invoices to its existing members beginning in November 2002 and continued to send such invoices until June 2003.

Some businesses that received the invoice paid the unnecessary renewal fee. Others did not. The action seeks a court order declaring that businesses who became members of UCC prior to August 28, 2002, are under no obligation to pay annual renewal fees as a condition for continued membership in UCC or as a condition for their continued use of the company prefix issued to them by UCC prior to August 28, 2002.

The suit also seeks to recover damages for those who did pay the “renewal fee” invoice.

The settlement provides that:

1. If you paid a membership fee to UCC prior to August 28, 2002, you will be entitled to perpetual membership in UCC and not be obligated to pay annual renewal fees to UCC, either now or in the future, as a condition for continued membership in UCC, or as a condition for your continued use of the company prefix issued to you before August 28, 2002.

However, this does not apply to any company prefix(es) issued to you by UCC after August 28, 2002.

2. If you are such a member, UCC’s “licensing agreement” –which pertains to your company prefix and accompanied UCC’s renewal invoice– will be declared null and void.

3. If you are such a member and you have paid the renewal fee, you are entitled to compensation from the settlement fund.

4. If you are such a member, you will be entitled to basic membership benefits, which are: (a) continued use of your company prefix issued by the UCC prior to August 28, 2002, (b) listing of your company in the UCC membership directory, (c) discount pricing on UCC events and products, and (d) Membership support through the UCC’s Customer Service organization, educational events, and Equipment/Service Provider Directories.

Though you are not required to pay a membership renewal fee, you may choose to do so.

Such payment entitles members to certain enhanced benefits: access to the online UCC Solution Center, enhanced supply chain support through UCC’s customer service team; free web seminars on supply chain solutions; and a quarterly newsletter.

If you file a claim for reimbursement of your annual renewal fee, such enhanced benefits will not be available to you, unless you begin paying annual renewal fees sometime in the future. Your share of the settlement fund will depend on how much you paid UCC as a renewal fee and on the number of class members who file claims seeking compensation from the fund.

As an illustration, if every single eligible class member timely filed a claim, your gross recovery would be roughly 48% of the renewal fee you paid. Similarly, if half of the eligible class members file claims, your gross recovery would be roughly 100% of the renewal fee you paid.

Regarding the class-action lawsuit brought by the law firm:
Bronson & Associates
Attorneys at Law
15 West 8th Street, Suite A
Tracy, CA 95376

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