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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    13

    Default Selling "Knock Off" Cell Phone Cases at Mall Kiosks

    Hello all,

    I'm contemplating the idea of purchasing large quantities of cell phone cases (mainly for iphones) to test a mall kiosk operation.

    Apple sells their own 'bumper' case for around $30, where on ebay and through several other suppliers, you can get a 'knock-off' of the same case for around $5. For those unfamiliar with the product, see below



    Now, I know I have seen tons of similar cell phone accessory type kiosks, so I imagine they can be profitable. My question is not in regards to business potential, but to the copyright issues that may arise from selling such a similar product. What would have to be done to protect yourself from legal ramification? Would a simple disclaimer stating that they are not authentic solve the problem? Would there even be any issues, since I am simply a reseller, not a manufacturer? Would apple even care if a small business operation like this even existed? Those are just a few of my questions for now.

    Thanks in advance for all replies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Selling "Knock Off" Cell Phone Cases at Mall Kiosks

    If you're selling knock-offs that improperly use Apple's logo and trade dress, there's nothing you can do to protect yourself - you're violating Apple's IP rights.

    Beyond that, you can take a look at the dozens of legitimate producers and vendors of third party accessories to see how you can market products legitimately.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Selling "Knock Off" Cell Phone Cases at Mall Kiosks

    The picture was merely for demonstrative purposes - say for example they did arrive like that, if I were to take them out of the packaging and sell them loose - which would then eliminate any logo or trade dress issues.

    I mainly concerned about the actual product, not the material in which it is packaged

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,749

    Default Re: Selling "Knock Off" Cell Phone Cases at Mall Kiosks

    It isn't easy for us to see the item, but as stated if it has iPHone or Apple logos on it, you're going to have problems.
    If it has the "Made for iPhone" badge and you're not complying with Apple's guidance, you're going to have problems.

    If the cases have no logo (other than your own) and merely say something like "fits iPhone 3G" or whatever, you are OK.

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