Thursday, October 20, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Amazon Selling Fake Apple Chargers and Cables

Ben Lovejoy (Hacker News):

There’s no shortage of third-party chargers and cables sold for Apple equipment, some of them claiming to be the genuine article, but Apple has found that even Amazon has been selling counterfeit products labelled as the real thing. The products concerned were sold by Amazon directly, and not by a third-party Marketplace seller.

The items have now been removed from sale, and Apple is suing the company that made them …

Patently Apple reports that Apple has filed a trademark infringement case against Mobile Star LLC, which Amazon named as the primary supplier of the counterfeit products. Apple said that Mobile Star was not only illegally using its trademark, but that the fake chargers had not passed safety tests and posed a risk to consumers.


Apple makes great efforts to combat the distribution and sale of counterfeit Apple products bearing its trademarks. Despite Apple’s efforts, fake Apple products continue to flood Each month, Apple identifies and reports many thousands of listings for counterfeit and infringing Apple products to under its notice and takedown procedures. Over the last nine months, Apple, as part of its ongoing brand protection efforts, has purchased well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine by sellers on and delivered through Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” program. Apple’s internal examination and testing for these products revealed almost 90% of these products are counterfeit.

John Gruber:

I can certainly see why Apple is suing Mobile Star (hopefully right out of business), but why not sue Amazon too?

John Gordon:

This has been going on for a long time…

Previously: Amazon’s Chinese Counterfeit Problem Is Getting Worse.

Update (2016-11-18): Todd Bishop:

Amazon today filed two lawsuits against online sellers alleged to have illegally offered counterfeit goods through its vast e-commerce platform.

Update (2016-12-02): Ben Lovejoy:

A large-scale test of 400 fake Apple chargers bought online from eight different countries – including the USA – found that a staggering 99% failed safety tests.


Selling counterfeit products is illegal (in the jurisdictions I just checked, at least). I don't believe that if a physical department store's was selling counterfeit products that this would be tolerated by the authorities. (Maybe I'm being naive, here)

I don't get why, just because Amazon are online, it falls to Apple to open civil lawsuits in an attempt to prevent this.

I don't understand Amazon's thinking here—it's going to sell Apple chargers, but it's going to source them from…some unknown company that's not Apple? That's extreme stupidity at best, deliberately criminal at worst. So, like John Gruber, I don't understand why Apple isn't suing Amazon, too (well, I do—it would open up all sorts of other cans of worms, but I hope they privately agreed to some sort of settlement and compensation).

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