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  (Source: iphone3ghacked.com)
Apple has accused two stores -- Apple Story and Fun Zone Inc. -- of selling knockoff Apple gear such as iPad, iPhone and iPod cases

In late July, photos on a blogger's site sparked an investigation of an unauthorized Apple store in Kunming, China, which sold products and looked just like a real Apple store. Last week, 22 more fake Apple retailers were found in China

Now, the hunt and capture of more unauthorized Apple products continues as the computing and electronics giant pursues stores in the Chinatown section of Queens, New York. Apple has accused two stores -- Apple Story and Fun Zone Inc. -- of selling knockoff Apple gear such as iPad, iPhone and iPod accessories.

Apple had sent its representatives to both Chinatown stores multiple times over several weeks to buy a variety of iPod, iPhone and iPad cases as well as stereo headsets. All of the products the company purchased had an Apple trademark as well as the phrase "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." In addition, the items had similar markings to those found on real Apple products. 

On July 25, 2011, Apple filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Apple Story and Fun Zone, which are both owned by New York resident and case co-defendant Janie Po Chiang. The other case co-defendant is Fun Zone manager Jimmy Kwok. 

On July 27, Apple launched multiple ex parte seizure warrants, which allowed the company to seize items with the Apple logo from both stores.

Until yesterday, the case remained under seal. The U.S. trademark counterfeiting law allows companies to file a trademark infringement action under seal in order to keep it a secret from the accused counterfeiters before seizure orders are launched. But U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ordered that the record be made public now that the items in question have been seized.

Matsumoto has granted Apple's request for preliminary injunction to prevent either store from selling fake Apple products. Apple is currently awaiting a ruling on whether Apple Story has to change its name or not. 

In addition, Apple is taking the ordeal a step further by requesting a list of all individuals who have purchased or sold knockoff Apple goods, triple monetary damages and an order to destroy any leftover Apple knockoff goods. 

As far as the list of individuals goes, Apple won a court order requiring the defendants to give Apple their business email accounts. This will show Apple who made and distributed the fake Apple accessories, which will likely lead to the addition of more defendants in this case or separate lawsuits altogether.

"Defendants are trading on and receiving the benefit of the goodwill Apple has established in the Apple trademarks through considerable labor and expense over many years," said Apple in its complaint. 

According to court records, both parties are moving toward an agreement, but "nothing has been finalized."



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apple trademarks and goodwill??
By tastyratz on 8/19/2011 10:44:48 AM , Rating: -1
Since when has Apple been associated with goodwill?
I mean I get it if the company was selling knock offs then they have the right to protect the name like any other company... but the list of names?

How much do you want to bet they plan to seize every case consumers purchased and either do nothing or offer a useless discount off full retail pricing to them?

Suck it up apple and leave the end users alone, there are a lot of knock off products out there. Do they not have access to ebay?




RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By amanojaku on 8/19/2011 10:55:11 AM , Rating: 5
It doesn't matter what you feel about Apple, and anyone who's read my posts knows I hate Apple. The fact is, these companies have been accused with breaking the law by both misleading customers and potentially diverting revenue from Apple. It is possible that these items are of lower quality than authentic Apple products. It is also possible that consumers would not have purchased them, and would have visited an Apple store instead. You'd hate it if someone did business pretending to be you.


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By tng on 8/19/2011 11:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure that you understand what he said by your reply.

He was talking about this....
quote:
by requesting a list of all individuals who have purchased or sold knockoff Apple goods


He is concerned that customers on the RETAIL level will be getting a visit from Apple thugs (sarcasm) that will take the items that they walked into a store and bought, probably unaware that they were knockoffs.

I was wondering that myself.


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By ltcommanderdata on 8/19/2011 11:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
The alternative explanation is that Apple is asking for the names of customers simply to fulfill their legal and perhaps moral responsibility to notify affected customers that the Apple labeled products they bought did not if fact come from Apple.

There is hardly a monetary, PR or probably even legal justification for Apple to try to seize or sue thousands of individual customers for purchasing 1 or 2 fake iPhone cases each, unwittingly or otherwise. Perhaps if they find a reseller who is purchasing and reselling this fake products in bulk then Apple would take action, which would then be justified.


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By wiz220 on 8/19/2011 12:48:04 PM , Rating: 3
It seems like a reasonable remedy may be that Apple sues these stores, gets money from them (money for lost revenue + some sort of punitive damages), then goes to the affected retail customers and gives them genuine Apple products in exchange for their knockoffs. This way, Apple gets their rightful revenue from the lawsuit and, if indeed the people thought they were purchasing genuine Apple products, they get what they were expecting. Plus Apple looks like a good guy in the consumer's eyes.


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By MrWho on 8/20/2011 3:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
"goes to the affected retail customers and gives them genuine Apple products in exchange for their knockoffs"

Excuse me for a moment while I roll on the floor laughing out loud.


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By MrTeal on 8/19/2011 11:25:49 AM , Rating: 5
It's just poor wording on the part of the DailyTech author. This is what the original Reuters article says.

quote:
Even if both sides reach a deal, Apple's crusade against the counterfeiters may continue. The lawsuit includes an undisclosed number of individuals and businesses who made, sold or distributed the alleged counterfeit goods.

Their identities are not yet known, but could include entities higher up on the suspected counterfeit chain. Apple has won a court order requiring the defendants to turn over access to their business email accounts, which could yield clues about other defendants to be named at a later date.


There's no talk about getting a list of customers.


By amanojaku on 8/19/2011 11:32:21 AM , Rating: 2
Apple can't go after customers because they didn't do anything wrong. Besides, it was made clear which individuals Apple is seeking in the next paragraph:
quote:
As far as the list of individuals goes, Apple won a court order requiring the defendants to give Apple their business email accounts. This will show Apple who made and distributed the fake Apple accessories, which will likely lead to the addition of more defendants in this case or separate lawsuits altogether.
Apple is going after businesses, not consumers. First of all, a good number of people pay in cash, so that money would be lost. Second, it would cost Apple a lot to chase the rest for what is likely less than a few million dollars, which won't cover the lawyers. It can just sue the businesses for all the money they made, and more.


By robinthakur on 8/22/2011 8:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, this affected me recently: I purchased from an Amazon retailer what was classified as an official bumper for the iPhone4. After less than 1 month it started falling apart and discolouring. The packaging said that it was designed by Apple in Cupertino and looked sort of official, but of course it wasn't. I got a full refund, but it completely wasted my time and put my iPhone4 at risk, so these people shouldn't be able to get away with it. Although it is tempting to think that all of them are made in China anyway, the quality is not always the same.


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By Maiyr on 8/19/2011 2:48:18 PM , Rating: 3
"It is also possible that consumers would not have purchased them, and would have visited an Apple store instead."

Nah, not true. If you've ever been to that section of New York you'd know that people know that they are buying fake products. That is why people go there in the first place.

Maiyr


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By MrTeal on 8/19/2011 10:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Suck it up apple and leave the end users alone, there are a lot of knock off products out there. Do they not have access to ebay?


I don't do this very often, but I'm siding with Apple on this one. This isn't like in the bad old days when Nintendo used to sue companies that make aftermarket controllers or accessories, these aren't third party cases. These are blatant knockoffs and Apple has every right to protect their name and image.

quote:
How much do you want to bet they plan to seize every case consumers purchased and either do nothing or offer a useless discount off full retail pricing to them?

That's not going to happen. They'll seize the inventory in the store and go after the distributors. The list of names isn't names of the store's customers, it's of the companies and factories in China producing the goods.


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By ltcommanderdata on 8/19/2011 11:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Suck it up apple and leave the end users alone, there are a lot of knock off products out there. Do they not have access to ebay?

The issue is these products are using Apple's logo and are labeled as being designed by Apple when they are not. If this is not a problem for you, then I guess you wouldn't mind if people use your name and likeness to endorse whatever product they want, legal/illegal or safe/unsafe, without you having any say on the matter.


By tastyratz on 8/19/2011 1:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
I thought my post was pretty clear when I said something like END USERS aka the people... who are using the product... in the end. I also specifically said they have a right to their IP, so where is the confusion from all the reading challenged replies?


RE: apple trademarks and goodwill??
By ilt24 on 8/19/2011 11:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How much do you want to bet they plan to seize every case consumers purchased and either do nothing or offer a useless discount off full retail pricing to them?


I think it more likely they will send that a letter telling them they were scammed and that Apple is not responsible for the counterfeit products they bought.


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