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N.Y. copycats ordered to hand over fake products to Apple

Deal also requires 'Apple Story' of Queens to change its name

Two stores in Queens, N.Y. have agreed to hand over all counterfeit products to Apple that bear the California company's name or logo, according to court documents.

The goods must be delivered to Apple within five days of a federal judge approving the deal. The two stores, Apple Story and Fun Zone, must also hand over all promotional and advertising materials, including signage.

"Within five (5) days of the execution by the Court of this Order, Defendants are required to deliver to Apple for eventual destruction their entire inventory of counterfeit and infringing products," the consent order stated. The order was published to the federal case database on Friday.

In late July, Apple sued the two stores and their owners for trademark infringement after its investigators visited both outlets and allegedly found products, including iPhone and iPod accessories, that carried Apple's trademarks.

In early August, U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto slapped a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order on Apple Story and Fun Zone, barring them from infringing Apple's trademarks.

Apple Story must also change the name of its store, the order said.

A settlement between Apple and the two stores was expected: After a mid-August settlement conference, attorneys for all parties said that they had reached an agreement.

Apple Story may have come to the attention of Apple because of the efforts of a blogger known as "BirdAbroad," who in July revealed a copycat store in Kunming, China that went to great lengths to duplicate Apple retail stores' look and feel.

After soliciting more photos from readers, on July 23 BirdAbroad posted images of several other Apple look-alikes, including one in Flushing, Queens marked with a sign that read "Apple Story."

Chinese authorities shuttered some copycat stores in Kunming, but allowed others that used Apple's logo without the company's permission to remain open.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer , on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

See more articles by Gregg Keizer .

Read more about drm and legal issues in Computerworld's DRM and Legal Issues Topic Center.


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