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Hello, I am wondering about selling counterfeit sunglasses on the street.

Woodland Hills, CA |

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?

Attorney Answers 8

Posted

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.

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Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Oh, and you might also go to prison.

Posted

Selling counterfeit goods will subject you to criminal penalties such as heavy fines or imprisonment, or both. 18 USC 2320

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Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Or, get your goods seized and destroyed and you ordered to pay treble damages and the attorneys fees of the other side, and the cost of the seizure and destruction and get to enjoined from that sort of business ever again, on penalty of contempt of court should you violate the injunction.

Posted

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.

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Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Read 18 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.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

And, in view of all that, wear your fake sunglasses to hide your identity when you do this so you don't go to jail quite as fast.

Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

Short Answer: Don't.

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Posted

Answers in order. 1. Problem 2. Yes you can be arrested and charged 3. refer to 2.

The content of this answer has been prepared by Scott Legal Services, P.C. for general informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. Transmission or receipt of the content of this information does not create, nor is it intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Because each matter involves differing facts, online readers should not act upon the content of this website without seeking legal advice.

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