Yesterday, the US Customs and Border Protection seized what it calls “2,000 counterfeit Apple Airpod Earbuds” from a cargo facility at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Turns out they aren’t fake at all.
The shipment, mistaken for knock off Apple AirPods, is in fact a legitimate product from Chinese smartphone and electronics maker OnePlus. The OnePlus Buds were announced earlier this year and retail for $79 USD, which brings the total shipment cost of the 2000 pairs confiscated to $158,000. That’s far less than the estimated $398,000 USD in fakes that the customs officials stated they had discovered.
In a statement released this afternoon (via The Verge), the CBP doubled down and said it didn’t make a mistake. Instead, OnePlus violated “Apple’s configuration trademark,” it said.
“Upon examining the shipment in question, a CBP Import Specialist determined that the subject earbuds appeared to violate Apple’s configuration trademark. Apple has configuration trademarks on their brand of earbuds, and has recorded those trademarks with CBP,” a spokesperson said.
In response to those noting “OnePlus Buds” on the box, CBP said its “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.”
CBP said OnePlus “will have many opportunities through the adjudication process to provide evidence that their product does not violate the relevant recorded trademarks.”