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

post #1 of 53
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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.
post #2 of 53
You mess with the bull, you get the horns.
post #3 of 53
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.
post #4 of 53
Hmm... I wonder why Apple wants a list of all customers that purchased items from the store.
post #5 of 53
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? \
post #6 of 53
Wait a sec here...just what the hell is a CORPORATION doing executing a raid??? Since when did CORPORATIONS enforce laws?
post #7 of 53
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."
post #8 of 53
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.
post #9 of 53
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?
post #10 of 53
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......
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #11 of 53
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.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #12 of 53
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.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 53
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.
post #14 of 53
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.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #15 of 53
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

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #16 of 53
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.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #17 of 53
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.
post #18 of 53
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.
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #19 of 53
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.
post #20 of 53
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.
post #21 of 53
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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post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

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.

The misunderstanding is because the author (Josh Ong) is more interested in generating clicks than accurate reporting.
post #23 of 53
Good job Apple! These criminals cost America jobs and the criminals who run the ripoff industries need to be made to pay triple what they earned, run out of business and have all assets seized, and then run out of the country - rather than leeching off the ingenuity of others. This is the dark side of 'globalization'.

Now if only our government a) cracked down on fake overseas junk and the Death of a Thousand Cuts and b) stopped waging illegal wars in distant lands, maybe our western economies would once again be as good as that of Apple.
post #24 of 53
Ha haI saw the headline and knew people would jump to screaming about a situation that isnt quite what the headline says

And Apple cant order a police raid. The police follow the law, and will carry out the seizure because Apple is on the right side of the law. Not to follow Apple orders."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

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

Good question. Maybe to offer them a discount on the real thing (paid for by these proceedings, or not)? And get customer GOOD will instead of the BAD will resulting when those people think they have a real Apple productand it sucks. Or, maybe just to notify them of the situation.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

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.

Wasn't boss Matsumoto killed by O-Ren-Ishii? Also, is it surprising that a store selling crap is in need of Flushing.

Well, that was my useless post for the day.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

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

More than likely to give them official Apple merchandise, in return for the knock-offs. Both as a goodwill gesture and to get them off the streets, where they can continue to tarnish Apple's reputation.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawilson View Post

More than likely to give them official Apple merchandise, in return for the knock-offs. Both as a goodwill gesture and to get them off the streets, where they can continue to tarnish Apple's reputation.

APPLE would be crazy to exchange real product for fake. Apple should try to inform these people that they bought fake product and that they should return them to the store they were bought from.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

The days have come when the corporations have taken over the powers of government in this country.

That's because the government is too busy borrowing/printing money. ....
See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #29 of 53
This just goes to show Apples turn to being a bully and a ruthless Corp. The old think different campaign could now be called Think Greed. Sure protecting your patents is all fine and well. Some how this seems over the top. After all Apple sits on 76 BIllion in cash, how much in sales do you think one store like this affects them. I am not saying they should be allowed to sell knock offs after all you can get fake lois Vitton anywhere but asking for the names of their customers was totally uncalled for. Thats just too big brother.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sternapples53 View Post

This just goes to show Apples turn to being a bully and a ruthless Corp. The old think different campaign could now be called Think Greed. Sure protecting your patents is all fine and well. Some how this seems over the top. After all Apple sits on 76 BIllion in cash, how much in sales do you think one store like this affects them. I am not saying they should be allowed to sell knock offs after all you can get fake lois Vitton anywhere but asking for the names of their customers was totally uncalled for. Thats just too big brother.

That was predictable (see post #10).

It just amazes me that people can somehow reach the conclusion that Apple should simply allow people to steal all their intellectual property and create knockoffs that look like the real thing.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

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.

Well yes, please leave, we have a little too many gullible people in the country. :-)
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

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.

As we say down here "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out".
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

The days have come when the corporations have taken over the powers of government in this country.

So you've been where since 1885? This has been the case since the Industrial Revolution. You've not noticed it until now?

Also you obviously missed the part where Apple didn't make up their own warrants. The law did.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sternapples53 View Post

This just goes to show Apples turn to being a bully and a ruthless Corp. The old think different campaign could now be called Think Greed. Sure protecting your patents is all fine and well. Some how this seems over the top. After all Apple sits on 76 BIllion in cash, how much in sales do you think one store like this affects them. I am not saying they should be allowed to sell knock offs after all you can get fake lois Vitton anywhere but asking for the names of their customers was totally uncalled for. Thats just too big brother.

So if Apple were a small struggling company, then this would be OK? Or if they hadn't paid their bills and the landlord had gotten a warrant for eviction for these stores, that would have been OK? Since when does having money - regardless of how much - make you a bully and ruthless? And do you know categorically what Apple is going to do with the lists of purchasers? And can you say why was it uncalled for? What if (as speculated above) they did it so they can arrange a refund from the store owners to the buyers? Or if they were going to offer the real item instead of a knock-off? Would that suck in your concept of what should happen to those unsuspecting buyers?

So in your eyes letting your competition walk all over your property, steal your ideas, create cheap imitation knock-offs of your hard work and sell it for less so that you can't sell your own real goods for a reasonable price. I'm guessing you don't own or run a successful business of any kind.

Can you make any sense out of what you posted because I sure can't.
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post #35 of 53
I'm sure cute Apple employees didn't go into the store with guns telling the knock-off apple store that they need to give up their fake wares or bad things would happen.

Come on editor dude or dudette, Apple took the Fakers to court, the judge ordered the seizure, government officials executed.

But maybe I'm wrong, if so, please let me know.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

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.

You are apparently endlessly paranoid and have absolutely no experience in running a business.

Lots of companies (along with property owners as well) execute warrants for seizure of illegal goods, eviction of people who are squatting on someone else's property or refuse to pay their rent.

Any company can ask for and receive an actionable warrant from a judge to have a premise raided if they can prove evidence of malfeasance - stolen or illegal goods, for example. If the judge finds there is substantial evidence - the warrant is issued and the police used to execute it.

Look around - this have been going on for decades, perhaps hundreds of years in business. It is a legitimate and accepted activity to protect commercial interests in property and products.
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post #37 of 53
I know that this is an Apple news fan blog but there have been a couple times where I have seen this site referenced as a credible news source. Glaring errors in misunderstanding civil (and criminal if there was malicious intent to steal corp intellectual property) law an saying apple "ordered a raid" is simply an embarrassment and discredits this site accuracy on other information they report. I think a quick correction is in order on the part of AI.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

You are apparently endlessly paranoid and have absolutely no experience in running a business.

Lots of companies (along with property owners as well) petition the courts for a warrant of seizure of illegal goods, eviction of people who are squatting on someone else's property or refuse to pay their rent.

Fixed that for ya
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoel View Post

I know that this is an Apple news fan blog but there have been a couple times where I have seen this site referenced as a credible news source. Glaring errors in misunderstanding civil (and criminal if there was malicious intent to steal corp intellectual property) law an saying apple "ordered a raid" is simply an embarrassment and discredits this site accuracy on other information they report. I think a quick correction is in order on the part of AI.

Yeah, rather pathetic journalism... even for an informal tech site like AI.
post #40 of 53
Oh please don't even use journalism in the same sentence as the name of this site unless you are doing so to illustrate that none of this is journalism. Even calling it bad journalism is giving it too much credit.

AI is a nice little forum and psuedo blog that reposts and processes stuff of other blogs in a game of telephone that inevitably messes up the message a bit. Some of the writers are a bit better than others, but none of them are journalists.
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