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Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3428
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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My relative has cellphone accessories store in NC. Yesterday

Customer Question

Hi! My relative has cellphone accessories store in NC. Yesterday police came to his store saying that he is selling counterfeit pruducts (cell phone cases). He doesn't sell imitations of well known brands like Otterbox, Lifeproof, Lunatik or any other. He is selling real ones for the high price. 1000 cases that the police called counterfeit are regular priced ones with no brand name. They were purchased and shipped from China (Aliexpress website). And the have characters like batman, superman on them. Some of them i believe have apple sign on them. As i unerstand it`s more a copyright issue. I ***** *****`t understand how can it be counterfeit. He doesn't sell fake copies of anything. He certainly didn't know that he was doing something illegal. I have read online that in existing cases like this sellers were receiving warning letters but he hasn't receive any. It just all came up out of blue. What are his chances? Also he is a 10 years greencard holder. How will it effect on him?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: My relative has cellphone accessories store in NC. Yesterday police came to his store saying that he is selling counterfeit pruducts (cell phone cases). He doesn't sell imitations of well known brands like Otterbox, Lifeproof, Lunatik or any other. He is selling real ones for the high price. 1000 cases that the police called counterfeit are regular priced ones with no brand name. They were purchased and shipped from China (Aliexpress website). And the have characters like batman, superman on them. Some of them i believe have apple sign on them. As i unerstand it`s more a copyright issue. I ***** *****`t understand how can it be counterfeit. He doesn't sell fake copies of anything. He certainly didn't know that he was doing something illegal. I have read online that in existing cases like this sellers were receiving warning letters but he hasn't receive any. It just all came up out of blue. What are his chances? Also he is a 10 years greencard holder. How will that effect on him?
JA: OK got it. Last thing — IP Lawyers generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 10 months ago.

hello, sorry to hear this. this is unusual because police are usually not involved in TM or copyright infringement matters. Typically, they would send a letter or seize the goods at customs. This is more of a trademark issue (but also copyright perhaps) because the logos for batman, superman, and Apple are all trademarks that are heavily enforced. There is no way to say what will happen because there is no indication of a civil action filed by the intellectual property owners, also it is unclear what the criminal charges will be (if any)....if he had no knowledge the goods were counterfeit then the chances of being convicted on criminal charges are very low so he should be ok. I dont know how that might affect his green card/immigration status because that is a separate issue unrelated to IP law and in any case there is not enough information to even speculate on that issue at this point...but if he isn't convicted of criminal charges then it should not affect his immigration status

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He wasn`t at the store when police came. They have spoke to him on the phone after the manager called him. And they invited him to the custody. He doesn`t know if he should go or not. They advised him not to bring a lawyer. He afraids that they might use it to take him to jail.
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 10 months ago.

He definitely needs a lawyer and should not go in without representation if possible.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What type of proof you think he needs to bring with him to show them that he didn`t know these items were counerfeit
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 10 months ago.

the burden of proof is on the authorities/ and without sufficient evidence that he had knowledge then it is unlikely they will pursue charges, but any evidence he can offer to show that he thought these items were not counterfeit will help in a decision not to pursue charges

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok Thank You!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Do you know how can we find a good IP lawyer in North Carolina? I thought may be you know any good firm
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 10 months ago.

not personally, but you can use various services like lawyers.com and avvo.com and martindale.com to find an IP attorney in that area

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