San Diego – In its ongoing efforts to trounce trademark infringement, Apple is suing two sellers of knockoff Apple accessories that are based in the New York borough of Flushing, Queens.
Apple is accusing the defendants, Apple Story and Fun Zone, of selling unauthorized iPod, iPhone, and iPad accessories which are illegally branded with Apple’s logo and signature markings along with phrases found on genuine Apple products including “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” Both operations accused of the infringement are owned by New York City resident Janie Po Chiang.
In an undercover attempt to catch the counterfeiters, Apple reportedly sent representatives to the businesses in question, where they purchased an assortment of unauthorized accessories. Among the accessories that were acquired were stereo headsets in packaging that was almost identical to the original packaging from Apple.
The case, originally filed on July25, was not made public until today due to a U.S. trademark counterfeiting law that allows a plaintiff to initially file a trademark infringement complaint under seal, so the alleged counterfeiters will not be alerted to the case before the infringed products have been seized.
U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto allowed Apple’s preliminary injunction and ordered both stores to stop selling the counterfeited goods. Apple also asked the judge to order Apple Story to change its name so that it would not cause confusion among consumers, however the judge has yet to issue an order on that. Quite possibly, Apple’s most crucial victory was that it was granted access to the defendants’ business email accounts where it can find evidence of individuals and businesses that have bought or sold the illegal products.
Apple, having surpassed Exxon to become the most valuable company in the world, has also been trying to shutdown fake Apple stores in China, one of its most promising markets.