US Custom weilds a big stick for Apple, and it hits us!!!!

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News Depot' started by allenaxon, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. allenaxon

    allenaxon Member

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    Our company's shipment of Android Tablet has just seized by the US Custom.
    Reason: counterfeit of Apple's Ipad.
    here is the Trade Mark link:
    TESS -- Error
    If it is legit, what happen to all other Tablets? Samsung's Galaxy etc.

    Help and comment, please.
     
  2. allenaxon

    allenaxon Member

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  3. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Better question What don't I own, Oh a generic APAD
    Your links are expired or broken. Cannot comment with what you cannot see
     
  4. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

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    Without being able to see the trademark reference it's not possible to comment on specifics.

    However, what kind of tablets were in your shipment? If they were tablets that look exactly like iPads (same color, size, materials), and especially if they had Apple logos on them, the seizure would be totally understandable. On the other hand, if they were a different form-factor (say a 7" screen, plastic case, different color, etc), then US Customs is probably over-reaching. The usual test for intellectual property infringement is whether or not a reasonable person would confuse the product with another. If the tablets are a different size, color, shape, branding, etc., you'd have a good case for getting them released from Customs. If they are knock-offs that were intentionally designed to look exactly like iPads in order to capitalize on Apple's established brand, then they probably are illegal counterfeits in the United States.
     
  5. allenaxon

    allenaxon Member

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  6. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Offworld is correct on all points. There are Android tablets which are 8inch in size and have an apple logo (reversed) on the back sold on Aliexpress. These would most certainly be confiscated by US Customs. It does sound like an enthusiastic Customs agent. It would not be the first or the last time I have seen counterfeit or enthusiasm by US Customs. Your only recourse is ask for a physical inspection for comparison. The resulting inspection will release in most instances quickly. BUT, do not expect speedy response. Especially during this holiday period. I have heard this sort of thing taking 90-120 days.
     
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  7. allenaxon

    allenaxon Member

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    the problem is that the tablets are ordered for a local college to start an Android programming course in Jan.
     
  8. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    Paying very close attention to this. It is about time customs started caring about these obvious clones, even if they were not meant to be sold as clone products.
     
  9. wilson13

    wilson13 Member

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    although customs has seized your items they can just as easily release them.

    you just need to explain they are android tablets, and they will let you have them.

    if your item has ipad logos all over them however then there maybe an issue.
     
  10. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

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    However, as is typical of our stupider-than-stupid USPTO they grant overly-broad and vague ownerships. If I read that Trademark office link correctly, it grants Apple exclusive rights to something awfully vague that pretty much EVERY phone or tablet on the market violates:

    They aren't claiming anything about colors, the diagram shows dotted lines for the screen, buttons (including the round button on the front), ports, and speaker holes. Based on this, expect the Apple lawyers to start lawsuits against everyone in the industry, if they haven't already. Nobody should be able to claim rights to a geometric shape as simple as a rectangle with rounded corners for f***'s sake!
     
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  11. allenaxon

    allenaxon Member

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    This reminds me of the Jurassic age of IBM clone wars, when MS claimed the spot for OS; if the Apple's Trade Mark "configuration of a rectangular handheld mobile digital electronic device with rounded corners" is enforceable, anybody making a Tablet computer would be in trouble!!!
     
  12. wilson13

    wilson13 Member

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    this is a trademark issue not patent, right?

    so its not about the design but the use of apples trademarks i would have thought.
     
  13. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

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    @wilson13 - yes, it's about trademark, not patent. Apple is claiming the SHAPE (rectangle with rounded corners) for a handheld electronic device as a trademark. This is about the form of the device, not it's function.

    Think of it like those air fresheners people hang from the rearview mirror of the car (the ones shaped like little evergreen trees). The shape itself is claimed as the trademark, a completely separate intellectual property claim from the function of it.
     
  14. Afri10

    Afri10 Member

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    thats stupid, that shouldnt be legal to make such trademarks.
    Because how else would you wanna do it?
    rectangle is the only realistiv way, and round corners is the most popular, not onl from apple.

    I hope mine will arrive
     
  15. wilson13

    wilson13 Member

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    if yours looks like a carbon copy of the design then maybe it infringes it. i dont think its the fact that it has rounded corners, i think basically thats just describing the design of the ipad in words.

    if it has rounded corners, a round button with a square on it, and essentially looks exactly like an ipad, then maybe thats what the issue is then. the wording "rounded corners" is probably just to support the diagram, but is not actually the trademark itself.

    all tablets and phones for that matter look the same. its likely the customs official doesnt know about the tablet industry and thought it was an ipad knock off imo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010

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