Apple loses court battle over 'counterfeit' iPhone parts in Norway

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 13
Norwegian repair shop owner Henrik Huseby got a cease-and-desist from Apple letter about his use of imported, aftermarket iPhone screens, was issued a cease and desist order, and threatened with fines -- but fought the company in the courts and won.




Huseby, who owns a small electronics repair shop called PCKompaniet in Norway, had had a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens from Asia seized by Norwegian customs agents, according to Motherboard. The Norwegian government notified Apple, and a lawyer represented the company proposing a settlement, which would entail Huseby paying $3,500, destroying the screens, and promising to no longer sell or deal with any products that infringe Apple's trademarks.

Huseby refused the settlement and took Apple to court. The case hinged on the question of how exactly Huseby obtained the Chinese parts, and how they were marked.

A question of the grey market

Huseby, like many repair shop owners and technicians around the world, purchases replacement parts from the Asian grey market. Many parts, such as the ones Huseby used, were broken parts from the original manufacturer that are "refurbished" by a third party. These parts had Apple logos originally, but were covered up by an easily removable media during the sale process.

Whether these count as "counterfeit" is at the crux of the case in Norway. Apple says they are, but Huseby and his team argued otherwise, and the court agreed.

Apple vs. counterfeiters

The ruling was in Norway and does not effect U.S. legal precedent, although Apple has engaged frequently in legal battles in recent years with third-party and unauthorized repair shops. Regardless of the lack of application to U.S. law, how the case plays out after Apple's appeal will still be watched by observers of the battles between Apple and third-party repair shops.

According to U.S. Code, the crime of "Trafficking in counterfeit goods and services" is applied to one who "traffics in goods or services and knowingly uses a counterfeit mark on or in connection with such goods or services, traffics in labels, patches, stickers, wrappers, badges, emblems, medallions, charms, boxes, containers, cans, cases, hangtags, documentation, or packaging of any type or nature, knowing that a counterfeit mark has been applied thereto, the use of which is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive."

Especially important in this case is whether Huseby had used components with Apple logos. Huseby, according to Vice, bought the screens with the logos covered up, and kept it covered up, since he didn't want to market it as Apple-manufactured or imply that it was such.

Apple has frequently cracked down on suspected counterfeiters, including the seizure of more than $1 million in fake accessories from a London warehouse in 2017 and general warnings about third party and counterfeit power accessories. It's even gone after counterfeit accessories for sale on Amazon.

Apple has also strongly opposed "Right to Repair" laws, which have been proposed in at least 18 U.S. states, although none have passed this year.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Apple will appeal this and win.
    racerhomie3watto_cobraanton zuykov
  • Reply 2 of 33
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,644member
    Use non Apple approved counterfeit parts and than iPhone doesn't function as it expected and designed and than people complain. Can't win. .If you use counterfeit parts in iPhone or any product than you own it's outcome. I replaced screen on one of my iPhone and worked but didn't match Apple screen quality so I suck it up for saving money.
    edited April 13 Muntzracerhomie3JFC_PAwatto_cobracornchipanton zuykovjony0
  • Reply 3 of 33
    I see a distinction between refurbished Apple screens and counterfeit Apple 'look alike' screens. Thus I agree with the court decision, as long as no customers were given the impression that these were warrantied Apple screens, and none returned their repaired phones to Apple for other warranty considerations (which is unlikely).
    Alex1Ngatorguyeriamjhanantksundarambeowulfschmidtairnerdjony0
  • Reply 4 of 33
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,201member
    It'd be kinda cool if AI ran an Apple litigation scorecard. I've no idea if they win a lot, lose a lot, split 50-50, or some variation. I suppose their SEC filings show judgments paid; dunno if they detail litigation costs. Wonder if their are above or below average. IOW...is Apple's legal team any good?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    saltyzipsaltyzip Posts: 175member
    jsmythe00 said:
    I see a distinction between refurbished Apple screens and counterfeit Apple 'look alike' screens. Thus I agree with the court decision, as long as no customers were given the impression that these were warrantied Apple screens, and none returned their repaired phones to Apple for other warranty considerations (which is unlikely).


    I second this.  If it's not apple approved hardware being installed by an apple certified technician then your phone is out of warranty and apple isn't liable
    What is apple doing going after this repair shop, talk about a big bully, they are acting like a control freak.
    toysandmesingularity
  • Reply 6 of 33
    If my iphone is paid and out of warranty I can do whatever I want with it. Give it away, trash it away, donate it for good cause, get it repaired w whatever parts I used, it’s none of Apples business. 


    paisleydiscotoysandmeolssingularitymuthuk_vanalingamanantksundaramdocno42
  • Reply 7 of 33
    ivanhivanh Posts: 236member
    If it’s out of warranty, it’s out of Apple business.  Apple doesn’t want to bear extended responsibility, fine. Then, Apple should not have extended right.


    ols
  • Reply 8 of 33
    jsmythe00 said:
    I see a distinction between refurbished Apple screens and counterfeit Apple 'look alike' screens. Thus I agree with the court decision, as long as no customers were given the impression that these were warrantied Apple screens, and none returned their repaired phones to Apple for other warranty considerations (which is unlikely).


    I second this.  If it's not apple approved hardware being installed by an apple certified technician then your phone is out of warranty and apple isn't liable
    So, I have had two iPhones replaced by ATT insurance. Both had issues from the start; home button quickly going bad, screens that dim in bright sun and otherwise change brightness constantly, white streaks plus other things that never work like an Apple iPhone. Why don't they get snagged up in this? My bad using ATT.com's insurance instead of Apple's, but Apple should go after them first (Att.com should go after their partner). It's awful they want to charge you for this crap!
    Alex1Nolswatto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 33
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,644member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    If my iphone is paid and out of warranty I can do whatever I want with it. Give it away, trash it away, donate it for good cause, get it repaired w whatever parts I used, it’s none of Apples business. 


    Off course. Once Apple sells product and out of warranty, Apple still cares as good citizen to support in newer IOS releases(unlike Android) but should not mandate what you do with that peace of hardware.. That is why I have been asking Apple to provide ONE place complete reset,wipe of device.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    wood1208 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    If my iphone is paid and out of warranty I can do whatever I want with it. Give it away, trash it away, donate it for good cause, get it repaired w whatever parts I used, it’s none of Apples business. 


    Off course. Once Apple sells product and out of warranty, Apple still cares as good citizen to support in newer IOS releases(unlike Android) but should not mandate what you do with that peace of hardware.. That is why I have been asking Apple to provide ONE place complete reset,wipe of device.
    Not sure why you think that’s not there....

    Settings/General/Reset/Erase All Contents And Settings/, touch it to initiate, confirm that’s really what you want to do, done.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobramwhiteicoco3
  • Reply 11 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    nunzy said:
    Apple will appeal this and win.
    How often do appeals overturn a previous verdict in Norwegia?
  • Reply 12 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    I see a distinction between refurbished Apple screens and counterfeit Apple 'look alike' screens. Thus I agree with the court decision, as long as no customers were given the impression that these were warrantied Apple screens, and none returned their repaired phones to Apple for other warranty considerations (which is unlikely).
    I see the distinction, too, but there’s also no way for the customer to then buy this phone from, say, a private seller and know that the display shouldn’t look as bad and respond as poorly as it does compared to the competition even though superficial metrics, like resolution and display panel type (i.e.: IPS), might be the same as what Apple advertises.

    I’m not sure I have van absolute answer based on the given data.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    sacto joe said:
    wood1208 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    If my iphone is paid and out of warranty I can do whatever I want with it. Give it away, trash it away, donate it for good cause, get it repaired w whatever parts I used, it’s none of Apples business. 


    Off course. Once Apple sells product and out of warranty, Apple still cares as good citizen to support in newer IOS releases(unlike Android) but should not mandate what you do with that peace of hardware.. That is why I have been asking Apple to provide ONE place complete reset,wipe of device.
    Not sure why you think that’s not there....

    Settings/General/Reset/Erase All Contents And Settings/, touch it to initiate, confirm that’s really what you want to do, done.
    sacto joe said:
    wood1208 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    If my iphone is paid and out of warranty I can do whatever I want with it. Give it away, trash it away, donate it for good cause, get it repaired w whatever parts I used, it’s none of Apples business. 


    Off course. Once Apple sells product and out of warranty, Apple still cares as good citizen to support in newer IOS releases(unlike Android) but should not mandate what you do with that peace of hardware.. That is why I have been asking Apple to provide ONE place complete reset,wipe of device.
    Not sure why you think that’s not there....

    Settings/General/Reset/Erase All Contents And Settings/, touch it to initiate, confirm that’s really what you want to do, done.
    Does that work, or does it stop you if you have Find My iPhone enabled?
    Alex1N
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Kuyangkoh said:
    If my iphone is paid and out of warranty I can do whatever I want with it. Give it away, trash it away, donate it for good cause, get it repaired w whatever parts I used, it’s none of Apples business. 


    Apple would not replace my battery because of a small dent in the case. They were afraid the screen would break after replacing. So I had to go elsewhere. So no Apple battery in my iPhone anymore. 
  • Reply 15 of 33
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,382member
    jsmythe00 said:
    I see a distinction between refurbished Apple screens and counterfeit Apple 'look alike' screens. Thus I agree with the court decision, as long as no customers were given the impression that these were warrantied Apple screens, and none returned their repaired phones to Apple for other warranty considerations (which is unlikely).


    I second this.  If it's not apple approved hardware being installed by an apple certified technician then your phone is out of warranty and apple isn't liable


    Are you trying to apply your understanding of the warranty laws in your country to that of another country? 
    singularity
  • Reply 16 of 33
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 472member
    Soli said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple will appeal this and win.
    How often do appeals overturn a previous verdict in Norwegia?
    It’s Norway not Norwegia. 
  • Reply 17 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,273member
    The case appears to be very simple: The vendor was selling parts that he said were (certified) Apple parts. Apple says that they weren't -- because Apple had already rejected them. The vendor misrepresented the parts -- they are not certified Apple parts. It's hard to see how this could stand up under appeal.
    mwhite
  • Reply 18 of 33
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,909member
    I see a distinction between refurbished Apple screens and counterfeit Apple 'look alike' screens. Thus I agree with the court decision, as long as no customers were given the impression that these were warrantied Apple screens, and none returned their repaired phones to Apple for other warranty considerations (which is unlikely).
    This is one of the key considerations and I agree with you.

    If repairability in the mobile world ever gets pushed through the courts at EU level, it is very likely that Apple will be required to go out of its way to make the consumer fully aware of repair limitations prior to the sale.

    That is supposing the EU would even allow Apple to 'go it alone' on repair in the first place.


    edited April 14
  • Reply 19 of 33
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,676member
    crosslad said:
    Soli said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple will appeal this and win.
    How often do appeals overturn a previous verdict in Norwegia?
    It’s Norway not Norwegia. 
    Norwania, duh. 
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 20 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,408member
    crosslad said:
    Soli said:
    nunzy said:
    Apple will appeal this and win.
    How often do appeals overturn a previous verdict in Norwegia?
    It’s Norway not Norwegia. 
    Nope. Norwegia Foreever!




Sign In or Register to comment.