Apple Files Lawsuit Against Teenager Who Sold White iPhone 4 Conversion Kits, Settlement Reached?


Last November, we highlighted the story of New York City teenager Fei Lam, who had managed to sell $130,000 worth of white iPhone 4 parts in just a few months to customers eager to get their hands on a white iPhone 4 has Apple continued to delay the release of the official model. Lam claimed that he had developed a secondhand relationship with someone at Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn who had been supplying him with parts. At the time, the report noted that Lam had been contacted by a purported private investigator who claimed that Lam was trafficking in stolen goods, and Lam's site disappeared soon after.


Apple yesterday finally filed a lawsuit against Lam and his parents, claiming infringement and dilution of its trademarks and engaging in deceptive practices through his conversion kit sales through his website at whiteiphone4now.com. Apple did, however, also file a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit at the same time, suggesting that a settlement has may have been reached, although Apple's request for dismissal without prejudice means that the company reserves the right to refile the claim at some point in the future.

Defendent Lam willfully and without authorization has used Apple's trademarks in connection with the sale of his "White iPhone 4 Conversion Kits," which among other things included white front and back panels with Apple's logo and "iPhone" trademarks that are used in connection with the promotion and sale of Apple's well known iPhone 4 handheld mobile digital electronic devices. Defendant at all times knew that Apple never has authorized the sale of white panels for its iPhone 4 mobile devices, and that he obtained these panels from sources that were not authorized by Apple or any of its suppliers to sell them.

Lam's parents were included in the suit under claims that they aided and abetted him by allowing him to engage in the activity while he was a minor under their supervision. Apple claims that Lam's actions dilutes Apple's trademarks and compromises its relationships with customers by causing confusion about whether Apple had authorized sales of white iPhones.

Apple's filing includes quotes from instant messaging exchanges between Lam and Alan Yang, a business owner in Shenzhen, China who was obtaining the parts for Lam, quotes that make clear that Yang was occasionally having difficulties getting parts shipped out as customs agents in Hong Kong were giving in troubles over the trademark issues.

Apple requested a permanent injunction barring the Lams from any further sales, forfeiture of all profits from the sale of white iPhone 4 parts, reimbursement for expenses occurred in pursuing the case, and additional financial penalties. With the request for dismissal, however, it is unclear what Apple may have obtained from the Lams in a potential settlement.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
120 months ago
I don't think Apple cares how much money they got (unlikely that it covered even their lawyers' expenses), but the result is that nobody will do it again.

Way to go Apple! Crush a teenager in your path!

Please explain what you mean by that. So a teenager manages to get into contact with criminals in China who are selling stolen pre-release parts for the iPhone, imports them into the USA, starts a website, starts a flourishing trade which damages Apple's reputation, so what is Apple supposed to do in your opinion?
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago

He's only a teenager, Apple are just throwing their weight around. :(:apple::(


For all those complaining like this remember:

1) He reportedly illegally got stolen parts from Foxconn
2) His parts had the Apple logo and this is a trademark violation

He wants to engineer legitimate replacement parts without trademark logos, he might have a respectable business.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago

He's only a teenager, Apple are just throwing their weight around. :(:apple::(


NO excuse, do the crime , do the time, a crime is a crime at any age, ever hear of consequences for your actions:rolleyes:
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
I'm sure there are going to be people on here who will say "leave him alone, he's just a kid" but he must have known what he was doing was going to land him in trouble. He was fitting stolen parts on phones after all. It's certainly 'enterprising', I'll give him that.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago
Kinda saw it coming.

Come on, guys. He was selling probably illegitimately obtained parts. It was bound to happen. Look at Psystar. This was a legally STUPID move on the kid's part to not expect some kind of lawsuit.

Also, how the f* does a teenage kid weasel his way into Apple's supply chain?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
120 months ago

He's only a teenager, Apple are just throwing their weight around. :(:apple::(


So if a teenager goes and kills someone you'd say the same thing?

The punishment may be a little harsh and a large sum of money but he should have thought of that before doing what he did.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Leaker Jon Prosser: Apple Watch and iPad Launching in September, iPhone 12 Event to Take Place in October

Wednesday August 12, 2020 4:31 pm PDT by
Apple last month confirmed that this year's iPhone 12 models will launch outside of their normal September timeframe and will be "available a few weeks later," which has led to speculation about when an event might be held. Leaker Jon Prosser, who sometimes shares accurate knowledge of Apple's plans, today said that Apple will hold its iPhone 12 event during the week of October 12, with...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple to Launch Bundled Subscription Services Called 'Apple One'

Thursday August 13, 2020 3:41 am PDT by
Apple will launch a new range of subscription service bundles called "Apple One" as soon as October, according to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The series of bundles would allow customers to subscribe to several Apple digital services together. This is expected to result in a lower monthly price than when the services are subscribed to individually. Bloomberg reports that the...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.6.1 With Fix for Storage Issue and Green Tinted Displays

Wednesday August 12, 2020 1:31 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.6.1, minor updates that come a month after the release of the iOS 13.6 update with Car Keys and Audio Apple News+ stories. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.6.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. iOS 13.6.1 addresses an issue that could cause...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

Apple Removes Fortnite From App Store [Update: Epic Files Lawsuit Against Apple]

Thursday August 13, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Just hours after Epic Games introduced a new direct payment option for Fortnite that skirts Apple's in-app purchase rules, Apple has pulled the Fortnite app from the App Store. Fortnite is no longer available for download on the iPhone or the iPad, and Apple provided a statement to MacRumors on Fortnite's removal:Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.6 Supplemental Update With Virtualization Bug Fix

Wednesday August 12, 2020 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.6, with the update coming a month after the original launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.6. The ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ 10.15.6 Supplemental Update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System Preferences app. According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes a problem that could cause...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...