China busts fake Apple stores

Aug. 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM
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KUNMING, China, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Twenty-two fake Apple stores were discovered in a single Chinese city, officials said.

The Administration for Industry and Commerce in Kunming said its investigators discovered numerous stores violating Apple's registered trademarks, the BBC reported Friday.

Officials shut down five of the stores and ordered others to end their use of Apple's logo and trademark, emphasizing that Chinese laws prohibit the copying of the "look and feel" of another company without permission.

Authorities in Kunming launched their investigation after a picture of an alleged copycat store was published on the Internet.

It wasn't immediately known if the stores were selling genuine Apple products or products purchased elsewhere.

Officials said they would increase their monitoring efforts and set up a hotline on which the public can report unauthorized stores.

Investigators said the fake stores are made to look like officially authorized Apple stores, with employees wearing T-shirts of the same color and lanyards of the same design as those worn in official stores.

Apple's headquarters are in California.

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