Apple ordered raid on New York store to seize knock-off accessories

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Recently unsealed court documents in Apple's case against an "Apple Story" store in New York City reveal that the iPhone maker executed a warrant to seize counterfeit products being sold at the store.



Apple filed suit against Apple Story Inc. and related company Fun Zone Inc. late last month, but kept court documents sealed until a judge released them to the public on Thursday.



Reuters reports that Apple had wielded U.S. trademark counterfeiting law to keep the infringement lawsuit under wraps until seizure orders had been executed.



The filing notes that Cupertino, Calif., company sent representatives to the Apple Story and Fun Zone locations to buy iPod, iPhone and iPad cases and iPhone stereo headsets on "multiple occasions over several weeks." The counterfeit goods carried Apple's logo and included packaging that was "nearly an exact duplicate" of Apple's products.



"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," Apple said in the complaint.



"On July 27, Apple executed several ex parte seizure warrants -- allowing the company to seize the items -- that swept up goods from both stores that bore the Apple logo," the report wrote. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto has also granted a request for a preliminary injunction against sales of the knock-off goods at the two stores.



"Apple Story" store in Flushing, New York. Credit Greg Autry via BirdAbroad.



In the complaint, Apple asked Apple Story to change its name, but Matsumoto has yet to rule on the request. According to the report, Apple is also seeking a list of all customers that purchased or sold the counterfeit goods, an order to destroy an remaining fake products and triple monetary damages.



The Apple Story and Fun Zone stores are both owned by Janie Po Chiang. Fun Zone manager Jimmy Kwok has also been named as a co-defendant in the suit. Court records are said to show that the parties are "moving toward an agreement."



50 undisclosed individuals and businesses are also included in the suit, indicating that Apple is looking to crack down on the counterfeit Apple product market.



Overseas unauthorized vendors, especially those in China, have also faced recent scrutiny. Numerous fake Apple Stores in China have had to close because of government inspections after reports of knock-off retail stores drew international attention.



Knock-off Apple store in Kunming, China | Credit: BirdAbroad



One store in particular had employees who wore blue t-shirts with the Apple logo and claimed to work for Apple. That store has since changed its name to "Smart Store," though the interior appears to remain unchanged. Meanwhile, a number of similar stores have been forced to close after it was discovered that they lacked official business permits.



The counterfeit Apple Store has been rebranded as "Smart Store." | Credit: mobiSights



Apple has been vigorous in protecting its brand over the years, as the company is known for inspiring strong brand recognition and loyalty. In May, a survey rated Apple as the world's most valuable brand with an estimated value of $153 billion, nearly half of the company's current market value in terms of market capitalization.
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Comments

  • res1233res1233 Posts: 18member
    You mess with the bull, you get the horns.
  • aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,582member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by res1233 View Post


    You mess with the bull, you get the horns.



    How exactly did they plan on getting away with this? I mean, in China is one thing. But in NYC? Come on.
  • negafoxnegafox Posts: 479member
    Hmm... I wonder why Apple wants a list of all customers that purchased items from the store.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,823member
    I knew about all of the fake Apple stores in China, but one in New York?



    The fools and criminals inside of the store are even wearing blue t-shirts, attempting to look like Apple employees.



    And why am I not surprised that the store is found in Flushing, out of all places? \
  • frdmfghtrfrdmfghtr Posts: 25member
    Wait a sec here...just what the hell is a CORPORATION doing executing a raid??? Since when did CORPORATIONS enforce laws?
  • acerbasacerbas Posts: 6member
    I realized that corporations have come to wield almost unlimited power in this country, but now they are executing their own warrants? Guess it will save a lot of money, though, if we just close the DA's office and the courts and let the corporations dispense their own "justice."
  • quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,544member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acerbas View Post


    I realized that corporations have come to wield almost unlimited power in this country, but now they are executing their own warrants? Guess it will save a lot of money, though, if we just close the DA's office and the courts and let the corporations dispense their own "justice."



    No one is forced to sell knock-off Apple gear, and no one is forced to buy them.



    Don't complain about Apple exercising their legal rights. Complain about the law.
  • frdmfghtrfrdmfghtr Posts: 25member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    No one is forced to sell knock-off Apple gear, and no one is forced to buy them.



    Don't complain about Apple exercising their legal rights. Complain about the law.



    It's not that Apple is exercising their legal rights; it's that, per the article, APPLE is executing the raid, not law enforcement officials:



    ""On July 27, Apple executed several ex parte seizure warrants -- allowing the company to seize the items -- that swept up goods from both stores that bore the Apple logo," the report wrote. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto has also granted a request for a preliminary injunction against sales of the knock-off goods at the two stores."



    You read about the BSA conducting software license audits, now Apple conducting raids. Since when did corporations get the power to enforce laws?
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    I can't wait to hear all the complaints from the Apple haters. Maybe I should save them the trouble:



    - Apple must be scared of competition

    - These people are good for Apple since they're creating more recognition

    - How dare Apple be such a big bully?

    - How could they get a patent on a case?

    - Next thing you know, they'll raid a grocery store to take all the apples.

    - Go ahead, add your own......
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,034member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acerbas View Post


    I realized that corporations have come to wield almost unlimited power in this country, but now they are executing their own warrants? Guess it will save a lot of money, though, if we just close the DA's office and the courts and let the corporations dispense their own "justice."



    That was Pandora.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,034member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post


    Wait a sec here...just what the hell is a CORPORATION doing executing a raid??? Since when did CORPORATIONS enforce laws?



    They didn't, and they don't.
  • chabigchabig Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    Hmm... I wonder why Apple wants a list of all customers that purchased items from the store.



    Probably so they can be contacted, since they are victims of fraud. Apple will probably ask that the fake store refund all money to these people and ask them to return the fake products.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acerbas View Post


    I realized that corporations have come to wield almost unlimited power in this country, but now they are executing their own warrants? Guess it will save a lot of money, though, if we just close the DA's office and the courts and let the corporations dispense their own "justice."



    I suspect it is artistic license by the writer, tying to get a rise out of some people.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,068member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    Hmm... I wonder why Apple wants a list of all customers that purchased items from the store.



    Perhaps to Let them know that what they bought was fake and potentially damaging to their computers or whatever. Perhaps even to offer to swap them for the real thing depending on what it is.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    and no one is forced to buy them.




    No, but they can be tricked. You walk into a store called Apple Story and they say they are an independent Apple reseller. You pick up, for example, a power cord that says it is a mag safe power adapter for a MacBook. It has the right look, similar box etc. 99% of folks aren't going to question if it is real or not. They need a power cord so they buy it
  • galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    I believe it is time that I leave this country.



    I just cant believe what I'm reading here.



    How in gods name is Apple executing warrants, raids and investigations on its own.



    And the courts are complying with it?



    Isnt this the job of the LAW ENFORCEMENT people?



    I find this highly disturbing.





    The days have come when the corporations have taken over the powers of government in this country.
  • swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post


    Wait a sec here...just what the hell is a CORPORATION doing executing a raid??? Since when did CORPORATIONS enforce laws?



    This has been the case in knockoff busts for a long while. The corporation does the police work, gets the warrant, then I think the cops do the bust, accompanied by corporate security.



    It seems wrong, but then notice: this is a civil prosecution. They will pay big fines and be put out of business. It's not all a bad idea that the taxpayer doesn't have to pay for this.
  • tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Cmon Really? Why not just apply to sell Apple products or behave yourself and don't cross the line. Why is Apple doing so well? One reason is because they don't allow stupid to represent their products.
  • ronnronn Posts: 135member
    For more twenty-five years corporations have had the right to personally seize items that infringe on their trademarks under the Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984. While it may appear heavy-handed, an ex-parte seizure warrant isn't a rubberstamp from a judge.
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    though that store is pathetic it is terrifying how powerful corporations are.



    someone can steal your id and mark up thousands of dollars if debt in your name and you have to fight hard as hell to get the law on your side.



    Not these corporations which are allegedly people. They have all the power in the world.



    Shame on these stores though and I'm glad they're shut down.
  • hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Swift View Post


    This has been the case in knockoff busts for a long while. The corporation does the police work, gets the warrant, then I think the cops do the bust, accompanied by corporate security.



    It seems wrong, but then notice: this is a civil prosecution. They will pay big fines and be put out of business. It's not all a bad idea that the taxpayer doesn't have to pay for this.



    Yes, the raid is normally done by law enforcement on a warrant signed by a judge. In a civil case it just happens that is it the plaintiff that asks for and provides the judge the warrant, not the police.



    No different than getting a judge to order the Sheriff to execute an eviction order. The owner & lawyer provide all the paperwork, the judge has to be satisfied it is legit and then signs the eviction order and directs the Sheriff to do the action.



    In counterfeit cases it has been done this way for decades, seems to happen a lot for knockoff clothing and nobody defends the counterfeiter and sellers then.
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