Apple files lawsuit against New York teenager

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Lawyers of Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit against Fei Lam, a 17-year-old teenager, who sold white iPhone part kits illegally online.

According to The Observer in late 2010, Lam, a Queens high school student, acquired white iPhone parts from Foxconn Technology’s workers and sold them on the Internet without Apple permission.

The parts were originally placed on hold by Apple because Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, was not satisfied with the quality of the parts.

Within the first few months after Lam opened his business, whiteiphone4now.com, the teenager reported earning more than $130,000, and $30,000-$40,000 personally. If his business continued, he could have made enough money to pay for his college.

On May 25, Apple’s lawyers in New York filed lawsuits against the teenager of infringing and diluting Apple’s famous trademarks.

“Upon information and belief, Defendant Lam was aware at all relevant times that Apple has not authorized the sale of a white iPhone 4, or of any white front and back panels for its iPhone 4s branded with the Apple Trademarks.”

Apple stated that the teenager sold Apple’s unreleased parts with it’s logo and trademark on the back of the white iPhone panel, using the term “iPhone” in the website’s URL and using Apple’s logos and trademarks on his site all without Apple’s permission.

Although Foxconn makes Apple’s parts, the company is not authorized to distribute and/or give permission to others to resell the parts.

Foxconn issued a statement denying the sale of Apple’s parts to the New York teenager in 2010. Lam, in his defense, asserts that he purchased the parts from a Chinese businessman, not from Foxconn.

FastCompany.com reports that Lam stated, “Nothing is stolen–that’s why I was confused when the PI said I was selling stolen parts.” And that the teenager received an email from a former Foxconn employee who has connections with current employees who can get some parts from the factory.

Apple sent a statement to Lam and his parents in November informing them that the teenager is selling the parts without Apple’s permission and he must terminate the business and contact Apple.

According to Apple’s report, Lam nor his parents contacted Apple, so the company sent another letter issuing the immediate termination of the “business.”

The tech giant also stated, “As a result of Defendants’ misconduct, Apple’s business and good will has been irreparably harmed and Apple is entitled to permanent injunctive relief against Defendants. Defendants also must disgorge the ill-gotten gains and profits they obtained through their misconduct, and to compensate Apple for its expenses, including attorneys’ fees, in connection with prosecuting this matter.”

In other words, Apple is asking for Lam and his parents to hand over all profits from the teenager’s business and pay copyright and lawyer fees.

According to FastCompany.com, Lam stated that he will meet with Apple’s lawyers in New York within the next month.

Most people believe the teenager should give the money to Apple and pay the fines, while some argue that Apple is exaggerating the issue and shouldn’t have filed a lawsuit against Lam.

Should Apple have filed lawsuits against the teenager? Tell us in the comments section below!

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