updated 05:35 pm EDT, Thu August 4, 2011
Sealed lawsuit may target Chinese knockoff stores
Apple has filed a lawsuit against a list of companies that currently run retail stores designed to look like Apple's own brick-and-mortar outlets. Although the complaint is sealed, the few details that are available suggest the company is going after a large number of defendants. The lawsuit, which was filed at the US District Court in the Eastern District of New York, lists at least 50 John Does and unnamed businesses.
The identities of many defendants have yet to be revealed, however one of the companies involved in the suit, referred to as Apple Story Inc., reportedly runs a store under the same name in the neighborhood of Flushing in Queens, New York, according to an AppleInsider report.
It remains unclear if some of the unnamed businesses and individuals represent the blatant knockoff stores that have surfaced in China. Earlier reports suggest the Chinese clones were caught using Apple's own branding, store layouts and staff uniforms. The Apple Story locations offer a similar appearance to Apple Stores, however the name and logos are clearly different.
Apple has yet to publicly confirm further details regarding its legal action against the lookalikes.
Fake Apple Store in China