That Fake Rolex You Buy In China May Cost You More Than The Real Thing

from the after-customs-has-its-way-with-you dept

Petréa Mitchell writes in to let us know about yet another case where trademark protection is being abused. "A guy decided to bring back some obviously fake Rolexes from China as souvenirs for his family. This was probably not a bright idea in any case, but US Customs thinks it's worth fining him $55,300. The fine is allegedly based on the street value of real Rolex watches, but he points out that there's no way anyone would pay a full Rolex price for fakes as obvious as these. The government says he should be glad it's only $55,300, because if Rolex had gotten personally involved it could have been $100,000... per watch." This one raises all sorts of questions. The thing is, buying these fake Rolexes shouldn't be against the law -- selling them should be. However, the guy wasn't caught selling them. Either way, while aren't there more important things for Customs to be doing than fining people for wearing fake Rolexes?

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  1. identicon
    James Rudy, 18 Nov 2007 @ 10:01am

    Third paties Rights! How to work around US law.

    I got a question here, because I run a successful replica stricly online business.

    Try this out and see if it fits.

    When selling fakes, Make it clear, that you are not the seller, that you clearly disclaim authenticity somewhere in fine print, accept no warranties, take no posession of physical goods, are not an expert, but are only a sourcing agent connecting buyers with sellers for a fee. The seller is China, where trademark law does not exist,and is therefore free to sell any so-called infringing item to anyone anywhere. Clearly state you are a third party collecting a finder's fee from the sale of the item, and remaining funds are forwarded to the seller (china). Trademark laws (or so-called intellectual property rights) have different meaning in different jurisdictions. Not every country (china) recognizes such law. And in theory, you (a US citizen) operating a strictly online busines, drop shipping items, never actually seeing them, and being honest with buyers (in fine print) disclaiming everything. And ALWAYS offering a REFUND policy, THIS is how I operate my very lucrative knock-off business, and while I still may get in trouble I HAVE A HUGE DEFENSE. I dont see 'em, I never have 'em, They are shipped by a country it is legal to do so in, and I am strictly online, so its not like its a business operating on nation soil. The internet last time I checked is owned by no country. I could be completely missing something here, but this is how I do it, this is how i keep it. To remain completely out of a trace of legal trouble, best practictices maybe just move out of the USA. Also, Certain High Risk Merchant Accounts will allow you to accept credit cards, and sell people FAKES. These are harder to aquire, and are offshore banks, with high rates, but yup it's legal. Dont expect to find paypal or any US based merchant account to allow you to do this.

    My 2 cents.
    James Rudy

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