Monday, March 18, 2013

COUNTERFEIT APPLE ACCESSORIES - PART 2 - IPHONE OBSESSION


IPHONE OBSESSION – 2/28/13, Update 3/21/2013, 4/22/13
This article also applies to Samsung Smartphone Accessories & Inserts!
Iphones come “undressed” with only the basic OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts (chargers, cables).  We love our phones and desire to personalize and accessorize our new device. In fact, it seems like manufacturers, importers, sellers and consumers alike are obsessed with iPhone accessories. However, replacement OEM parts can be expensive. Consumers trying to save a few dollars seek discounts. Of rampant existence and variety in the marketplace is anything and everything intended for use with Apple iPhones. Many of these items are counterfeit.

While generic, acceptable “compatible” accessories exist, websites, importers and local wholesalers offer a plethora of infringing, diluting products that attempt to lead buyers into believing they are purchasing an actual Apple affiliated product. Even if the buyer knows these items are generic and not OEM, the packaging, wording and labeling may infringe on Apple’s registered trademarks and are considered counterfeit. Apple rightfully does not want to be associated with lower quality non-OEM products, as their reputation could be diminished.

Following are examples of counterfeit replacement/compatible Apple products researched as of (3/18/13).

Some merchandise removal policies are based on easy to spot parameters; decisions may change based on further research. We are not legal experts. We share knowledge acquired to date based on Customs and Border Protection reports, news articles and inland arrests at stores, wholesalers and private residences. Photos are of counterfeit accessories and we work diligently to educate and keep these products out of the market! Unfortunately, counterfeits still illegally enter the country from abroad and are consequently offered by wholesalers to stores and eventually flea market vendors. Photos are for purposes of education and discussion. Registered trademarks belong to the original manufacturers. This article will be updated as we acquire new information! A future article will compare counterfeit items side by side with authentic products.

CASES: No "designer" cases allowed. No cases with Apple logos. Generic "no name" cases are ok. (Images 1-2) 



1. COUNTERFEIT "DESIGNER" CASES


2. COUNTERFEIT APPLE LOGO CASES

CHARGER CUBESEver evolving, they must have no green dot or other infringing labeling or wording to lead consumer to think it is an Apple product. Nor can it use Apple’s part number (A1265) or copycat wording like “Happy” or “Abble”. (Image 3-5)


3. AUTHENTIC APPLE CHARGER
4. COUNTERFEIT "ABBLE" CHARGER


5. COUNTERFEIT "HAPPY" CHARGER

WORDING: Simply put, item/packaging must say “compatible with” or “for the iPhone”, not say “Made by Apple”. However, this can be complicated other requirements may apply.

    CARDBOARD CASE INSERTS: Must be removed because they bear the trademarked Apple icons (Images 6-8)


7. LOGO/APP ICON INFRINGING CASE INSERTS
6. THIS TYPE OF CASE WAS SEIZED

8. CASE FOR SALE ON ALIBABA.COM THAT
WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED
BECAUSE OF INFRINGING INSERT




BOXESGenuine Apple accessories (cables, headphones) are packaged in matte finish black or white boxes. Compatible accessories may not be packaged in look-alike infringing boxes. (Image 9)
9. INFRINGING PACKAGING

CONVERSION KITSiPhone housing is black or white. Conversion “repair” kits offer the option to change phone color. This is not a protective case. The iPhone actually needs to be taken apart and reassembled with the new color. Not only does it seem risky, and void the original warranty, but these color plates bear unauthorized use of the Apple logo, are trademark infringing and therefore considered counterfeit. Vendors offering “iPhone repair” may be installing these infringing color conversion kits. (Image 10). It seems to us that plain, inmarked plates may be installed, as it seems up to the individual to change their own personal property.
10. APPLE LOGO INFRINGING COLOR CONVERSION PANELS
WHAT'S NEXT?

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