Controversy as ‘fake’ AirPods revealed as OnePlus goods

The recent seizure of what US customs reported were counterfeit Apple AirPods has turned out to be genuine earbuds manufactured by China’s OnePlus.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that on August 31 it seized what it said was a shipment of 2,000 fake Apple AirPods, but on closer inspection of the photos from the bust it was clear the items were OnePlus Buds. The shipment was intercepted at JFK Airport in New York.

Initially the seizure was thought to be made in error, but CBP has stuck with its original assessment, saying in a statement that the OnePlus Buds “appeared to violate Apple’s configuration trademark.”

It went on: “CBP’s seizure of the earbuds in question is unrelated to the images or language on the box. A company does not have to put an ‘Apple’ wordmark or design on their products to violate these trademarks.”

It’s notable that while CBP has acted in this instance, Apple itself hasn’t filed any legal challenge to the widespread sale of OnePlus Buds in the US.

CBP said the importer of the goods “will have many opportunities through the adjudication process to provide evidence that their product does not violate the relevant recorded trademarks.”

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