Caveat Emptor -- buyer beware! Patently Apple reported yesterday that Apple filed a trademark infringement case against a company called Mobile Star LLC, which was producing counterfeit Apple chargers and cables for sale on Amazon. Not only was the company using the Apple trademark, but the chargers hadn't passed safety testing and could very well pose a risk to consumers. According to the report:
Apple recently purchased a number of Apple power adapters and charging and syncing cables (collectively “power products”) that were directly sold by Amazon.com – not a third party seller – and determined that they were counterfeit. Amazon.com informed Apple that Mobile Star was its source for the majority of these counterfeit Apple products […]
Counterfeit power products, such as those supplied by Mobile Star, pose an immediate threat to consumer safety because, unlike genuine Apple products, they are not subjected to industry-standard consumer safety testing and are poorly constructed with inferior or missing components, flawed design, and inadequate electrical insulation. These counterfeits have the potential to overheat, catch fire, and deliver a deadly electric shock to consumers while in normal use.
Apple says that the situation is even worse when third-party sellers are involved, as the "Fulfillment by Amazon" tag gives buyers assurance that their products will be delivered, but there's no way to tell if the items are genuine Apple:
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 Amazon.com 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.
Apple's seeking an injunction against Mobile Star from selling the counterfeits, asking the company to destroy all counterfeits, and seeking damages of $2 million per product type.
UPDATE: An Amazon spokesman reached out to Apple World Today with the following statement - “Amazon has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site. We work closely with manufacturers and brands, and pursue wrongdoers aggressively.”