Apple Sues Stores in New York Over Trademark Infringement

by Jordan Richardson on August 9, 2011

Apple has won a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against several retail stores located in the Chinatown area of Queens, New York. The stores apparently sell cases and accessories for official Apple products, like the iPod and iPhone.

There has been a rash of fake Apple stores and strange occurrences as of late, with a pile of fake Apple stores revealed in China a few weeks ago. Apple has certainly been taking notice and this latest lawsuit is part of an ongoing battle against fakes, frauds and counterfeits.

The lawsuit against the New York stores is largely over trademark infringement, which essentially means that the stores are using Apple signage and the like without permission.

The suit was filed back on July 25, but the case was officially made public on August 2. It’s against two stores, Apple Story Inc. and Fun Zone Inc., and a group of unnamed businesses and “John Does.” The court docket reveals that Apple won the aforementioned restraining order. There is also a seizure order against the defendants and, on Friday, the injunction was granted.

It’s not clear if the stores in New York are at all related to the stores found by a blogger in China, but what is clear is that the media attention on this story isn’t going away anytime soon. The story speaks to the heart of a booming economy and how it intersects with the tech sector, as the stores speak to how far some are willing to go to capitalize on opportunity.

The fake stores go beyond China, as the New York stores reveal. Bloggers and reporters around the world have also apparently noticed fake stores in Colombia, Vietnam, Venezuela, and beyond. Are fake Apple stores reaching epidemic levels? Perhaps. What this story really speaks to, however, is the power of a brand and a trademark. These stores are clearly operated by some very brazen people who make no bones about trademark theft and don’t seem to care about any associated legal issues.

Apple has yet to respond to the stores in China in any meaningful way, but that probably won’t last long. They are not a company to take trademark infringement lightly.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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