There may be more than a few fake Apple Stores
in China, but for the moment, Cupertino's anti-KIRF crusade seems focused squarely on New York City. According to Reuters
, Apple has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against two stores in Queens, alleging that they sold unauthorized cases, headphones and other
accessories for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. In the complaint, the company claims that the products in question were all emblazoned with its familiar fruit logo, along with the phrase, "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China."
The suit also demands that one of the stores, called Apple Story (seriously), change its name to avoid confusion with the real retail outlet and that both vendors disclose full lists of people who both supplied and purchased the goods.
It all began when company representatives visited the Chinatown-area stores on "multiple occasions over several weeks," where they bought and examined the items, described in court records as "exact duplicates" of their authentic counterparts. On July 27th, Apple executed a few ex parte seizure warrants, which allowed authorities to seize any goods bearing its logo. US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto has already granted an injunction to stop the stores from selling the alleged knockoffs, but hasn't yet decided whether Apple Story will have to change its name. The complaint also seeks undisclosed monetary damages and asks that all existing counterfeit goods be destroyed, though court documents suggest that both sides are close to reaching a deal.
Neither Apple nor the defendants have commented on the accusations, but we'll let you know as soon as we learn more.
In the meantime, check out this KIRF
"iPhone 5" we found in Beijing -- a Java-powered handset that's slimmer than the Galaxy S II
and a bit laggy, but boasts a multitouch capacitive screen. Asking price? ¥680, or about $106.
Keepin' it real fake: slim 'iPhone 5' shows up in Beijing