Apple Sues Knock-off Apple Stores

Apple has filed a lawsuit in New York targeting a long list of names and businesses for opening stores that it claims infringe on Apple Store-related trademarks. The case was filed in U.S. District Court and lists some 50 John Does and unnamed businesses, along with other stores such as the New York-based Apple Story, according to AppleInsider.

Knock off Apple Store in New YorkApple Story is one of many defendants in Apple’s lawsuit

Image courtesy of BirdAbroad

The filing is under court seal, so there aren’t many details available as of yet.

It appears that Apple isn’t limiting its legal action to stores that closely match the look and feel of actual Apple Stores. Apple Story, for example, uses a name that very similar to Apple Store, and its product displays look like giant iPads.

Several fake Apple stores in China recently made the news thanks to the BirdAbroad blog. Those stores closely matched Apple’s own store designs, complete with blue-shirt employees, employee badges in lanyards, big Apple logos, and what seems to be actual Apple product.

Fake Apple Store in ChinaOne of several knock-off Apple stores in China

China shut down two of the Apple knock-off stores after they made the news. They were closed, however, for failing to obtain proper business licenses instead of trademark or copyright infringement.

Apple has not commented on the lawsuits or the knock-off stores.