I live in the LA area and am wondering what the consequences are for selling counterfeit sunglasses. What if these sunglasses spell ray ban; ruy ban and the logo is slightly different? Can I still be arrested and charged? With what consequences?
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
What they said; this is the very definition of trademark infringement. You cannot deliberately cause confusion in the marketplace or trade on the goodwill of someone else's products or company. That's the purpose having trademark protection, in the first place. What you are talking about is *exactly* what trademark laws are meant to prevent.
As for the consequences, you'll be ordered to turn over all profits you earn by selling the glasses and to not sell any more of the glasses. If there were additional damages to the company (Ray-Ban), you'll be ordered to pay those, as well. You'll have to pay all of the filing and other administrative costs of the trademark infringement proceeding, and, if the court decides you were being particularly egregious, it has the option of requiring you to pay the company's attorney fees.
No information you obtain from this answer is legal advice, nor is it intended to be. You should consult an attorney for individualized advice regarding your situation. No attorney-client relationship is formed by my responding to your question.
Selling counterfeit goods will subject you to criminal penalties such as heavy fines or imprisonment, or both. 18 USC 2320
Trademark Application Attorney
This is a joke, right? You just called them counterfeit and that is what they are. Minor changes in spelling do not defeat the "likelihood of confusion," and they will throw your butt in jail. Find honest work.
Licensed in Maryland with offices in Maryland and Oregon. Information here is general, does not create a lawyer-client relationship, and is not a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney on the specifics of your situation.
Your plan is terrible. There are civil and criminal penalties for selling knock-offs. Slight modiications will make no difference.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Copyright Infringement Attorney
I assume when you mention "LA area" you are talking about the Santee alley in Downtown LA? That is one of the places that all brand companies start the investigations into counterfeit goods.
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
Read 18 USC 2319 and contemplate 1 to 10 years in a federal pen.
Read 15 USC 1114 and contemplate a raid without warning on your business and seizure of your goods and treble damages (three times your sales volume) and attorneys fees of the brand owner in suing you.
Google the name Victoria Espinel and see whether you think that stopping this type of activity has high profile attention or not. Hint: She works in the White House.
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.
Patent Infringement Attorney
Short Answer: Don't.
Answers in order. 1. Problem 2. Yes you can be arrested and charged 3. refer to 2.
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