Apple Sues Two Sellers of Look-Alike Apple Products Citing Trademark Infringement

The battle between the world giant in electronics has seen going on in full force since the past several weeks. As per the latest news, Apple has filed yet another lawsuit, this time against Apple accessory sellers. This lawsuit comes as a part of the trademark infringement suits that have been going on for quite some time now. The two sellers who have had to bear the brunt of Apple are Fun Zone and Apple Story. They have their stores in Flushing, Queens, which are the neighborhood of New York City. The lawsuit was filed in the federal court of Brooklyn on Thursday. The defendants in the case have been accused of retailing electronic gadgets such as iPods, iPads and iPhones without proper authorization.

The products sold are being branded with the logo of Apple. Along with the symbol is a message which reads that the device is an Apple product designed in California and which has been assembled in China. Customers are being duped owing to the name of the store, which many have taken to be an Apple outlet. In its lawsuit, Apple has also requested the court to order Apple Story to change its name as it is leading to unnecessary complications. Apple also alleged that the smart phones that were being sold in the Apple Story bore unacceptable resemblance to the authentic Apple phones and tablets. In precise words, Apple mentioned the devices and the packaging to be “almost an exact duplicate” of authentic Apple packaging. Fun Zone has also been accused of similar charges, although the name does not matter in this case. Not only are these stores selling look-alikes of reputed Apple gadgets, but also accompanying accessories such as stereo headsets.

According to reports, although the lawsuit was filed against these two firms on the 25th of July, it was only on the 18th of August that the case was brought to public notice. This is in keeping with the laws of infringement of trademark which state that the first lawsuit has to be filed under seal so that the accused do not have a chance to destroy evidence. The presiding judge of the trademark infringement case, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, has given a directive to both the stores to stop the sale of these gadgets immediately. However, the judge has not specified whether there will be further action to have Apple Story change its name.

The case was filed on July 25, but was not made public until Thursday, due to a U.S. trademark counterfeiting law that enables a company to initially file a trademark infringement complaint under seal, so as not to tip off accused perpetrators before goods have been seized. At Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto has ordered both stores to stop selling counterfeit goods. He has not yet issued an order on whether Apple Story must change its name.