Sept 15 Two stores in Queens, New York, accused
of peddling unauthorized Apple Inc (AAPL.O) accessories have
agreed to hand over all products in their inventories bearing
the word "Apple" or any of the company's ubiquitous
The proposed settlement, lodged in Brooklyn federal court
on Thursday, would resolve a trademark-infringement lawsuit
filed last July against Apple Story Inc and Fun Zone Inc, two
stores in the Chinatown section of Flushing, Queens, that sell
cases, headsets and other accessories for Apple products such
as the iPhone, iPad and iPod. The two stores maintain they have
not violated any Apple trademarks.
If U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto approves the
settlement, the stores will have five days to turn over any
counterfeit products in their inventories, as well as any
products, labels, packaging, promotional materials and other
items that bear any Apple trademarks, including the well-known
image of an apple and proprietary phrases such as "iPod" and
According to a court filing from Apple, the design of the
unauthorized iPhone and iPod cases sold by the two stores
mimics the trademarked iPhone and iPod designs and includes the
phrase: "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China."
As part of the proposed settlement, Apple Story has agreed
to change its name, which Apple contends is too similar to its
"Apple Store" trademark. It has also agreed to remove an
oversize iPhone-shaped window display.
The defendants -- who include Apple Story owner Janice Po
Chiang and Fun Zone manager Jimmy Kwok -- are also prohibited
from destroying any records pertaining to the manufacture,
distribution, sale or receipt of the cases or headsets
identified as fakes by Apple.
TIDE OF COUNTERFEITING
Apple filed the suit under seal on July 25. Under U.S.
trademark counterfeiting law, a company may file a trademark
infringement action under seal so as not to tip off the accused
before seizure orders are executed. The record was unsealed
following a request from Reuters.
Apple said in court filings it sent private investigators
to buy hundreds of dollars' worth of the alleged fakes from
both stores multiple times over several weeks earlier this
On July 27, Apple seized goods bearing the Apple trademarks
from both stores. It has also won a court order requiring the
defendants to turn over access to their business email
accounts, which could yield clues about their suppliers,
distributors or customers.
The lawsuit comes as the California company tries to stem a
tide of counterfeit products and even whole counterfeit Apple
stores, in China.
A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment on the
Attorneys for both parties did not immediately return
requests for comment.
The case is Apple Inc. v. Apple Story Inc et al., in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, no.
For Apple: Mark Mutterperl and Todd Hambidge of Fulbright &
For the defendants: Samuel Chuang of the Law Offices of
(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York; editing by Andre