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

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Avatar
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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)

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