Apple Sued an Independent iPhone Repair Shop Owner and Lost

Apple Sued an Independent iPhone Repair Shop Owner and Lost


Apple said an unauthorized repair shop owner in Norway violated its trademark by using aftermarket iPhone parts, but a court decided in favor of the shop owner.

Last year, Apple’s lawyers sent Henrik Huseby, the owner of a small electronics repair shop in Norway, a letter demanding that he immediately stop using aftermarket iPhone screens at his repair business and that he pay the company a settlement.

Norway’s customs officials had seized a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens on their way to Henrik’s shop from Asia and alerted Apple; the company said they were counterfeit.

In order to avoid being sued, Apple asked Huseby for “copies of invoices, product lists, order forms, payment information, prints from the internet and other relevant material regarding the purchase [of screens], including copies of any correspondence with the supplier … we reserve the right to request further documentation at a later date.”

The letter, sent by Frank Jorgensen, an attorney at the Njord law firm on behalf of Apple, included a settlement agreement that also notified him the screens would be destroyed. The settlement agreement said that Huseby agrees “not to manufacture, import, sell, market, or otherwise deal with any products that infringe Apple’s trademarks,” and asked required him to pay 27,700 Norwegian Krone ($3,566) to make the problem go away without a trial.

“Intellectual Property Law is a specialized area of law, and seeking legal advice is in many instances recommended,” Jorgensen wrote in the letter accompanying the settlement agreement. “However, we can inform you that further proceedings and costs can be avoided by settling the case.”

Huseby decided to fight the case.

“That’s a letter I would never put my signature on,” Huseby told me in an email. “They threw all kinds of claims against me and told me the laws and acted so friendly and just wanted me to sign the letter so it would all be over. I had a good lawyer that completely understood the problem, did good research, and read the law correctly.”

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