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Make 130k:"Apple Stamps Out 17-Year Old Entrepreneur"

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by Mike39, Dec 23, 2012.

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  1. Mike39
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    Mike39 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Came across this yesterday and thought it just went to show that a) if you solve a need people are just waiting to hand you their money and b) make sure you understand the legal aspects of any business you start before you end up on the bad side of a muli-billion dollar giant

    "A 17 year-old entrepreneur who first made news in November for offering white iPhone 4 parts via his website has now officially met Apple’s wrath. Queens, New York native, Fei Lam and his parents are being sued by the technology giant, according to news first reported by MacRumors.


    Frustrated that Apple hadn't released the now-available white iPhone 4, Lam created whiteiphone4now.com to make a few bucks. Using a contact he knew at Apple supplier Foxconn, Lam began buying spare parts. He then made them available as iPhone conversion kits.

    Get White iPhone Now Original Ad
    [​IMG]

    Before whiteiphone4now.com went down, Lam sold 470 of the kits worldwide for $279 each. Meaning the guy grossed over $130,000.

    In Apple’s May 25 filing, the company contends:

    Defendent Lam willfully and without authorization has used Apple’s trademarks in connection with the sale of his “White iPhone 4 Conversion Kits,” which among other things included white front and back panels with Apple’s logo and “iPhone” trademarks that are used in connection with the promotion and sale of Apple’s well known iPhone 4 handheld mobile digital electronic devices. Defendant at all times knew that Apple never has authorized the sale of white panels for its iPhone 4 mobile devices, and that he obtained these panels from sources that were not authorized by Apple or any of its suppliers to sell them.
    Apple’s remedy is to recover all of Lam’s profits from the sales, plus pay reimbursement for all expenses incurred.

    However, Apple also filed a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit, which seems to suggest the two sides have come to some sort of out-of-court settlement. But, because the request for dismissal came without prejudice, the company could refile the claim in the future.

    In November, we suggested that if Lam purchased the parts in question legally, Apple’s gripe should be with Foxconn who sold the items. However, it’s clear Lam, and not Foxconn, is being targeted."

    Apple Stamps Out 17-Year Old Entrepreneur -- AppAdvice
     
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  2. InMotion
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    InMotion Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    This is what mega companies are very good at.
     
  3. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Protecting their brand from potential trademark pirates?! This guy wasn't selling white iPhone cases.

    I wouldn't call someone who potentially infringes on others trademarks "Fastlane" -- I'm sure if one counterfeited a bunch of Louis Vuitton handbags, they'd make a killing too.
     
  4. InLikeFlint
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    InLikeFlint Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Great post!!

    For a while I was looking to get into the resale of Apple products because of the demand, and well, I love Apple :p

    My target was authorized retailers in small countries, my goal was that they couldn't make huge sales from their company so they would look to sell in bulk at a slightly lower price to a wholesale buyer (Me). I always wondered what sort of trouble opening up a website selling apple products would get me into, although I was initially planning to do it all through eBay with the assumption that it would offer me some sort of "Protection"
     
  5. yahdmon
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    yahdmon Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    It wouldn't have gained any protection.

    Ask many person who have tried selling knock-offs of major brands. Not only is Ebay and others obliged to and are looking out for these types of listings but the companies themselves are starting to look out for these product listings with crawlers as well as human efforts. Save yourself the trouble. It is not worth it and you will not win.
     
  6. Mike39
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    Mike39 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Either the kid didn't think he was doing anything illegal or he was just naive enough to believe that nobody would actually sit down and take the time to find him, either way I think apple did what would be expected and it's a hard lesson learned for the kid