Ever since Apple first launched the AirPods, a number of smartphone makers have followed suit with their own wireless in-ear buds. The latest is OnePlus, but the company may struggle to sell its own ear buds in the US, as shipments are being seized as counterfeit Apple products.
The US Customs and Border Protection agency this week seized “2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine”. The issue here is that these are clearly branded OnePlus Buds, making it difficult to confuse them for an Apple product at all.
THAT'S NOT AN 🍎 —
CBP officers at JFK Airport recently seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine.
— CBP (@CBP) September 14, 2020
The OnePlus USA Twitter account responded publicly, simply saying “hey, give those back”. Interestingly, these were white OnePlus Buds, which do look a bit more similar to AirPods compared to the black or blue models. Still, as you can see in the image above, all of the boxes are clearly branded as OnePlus Buds.
As reported by The Verge, the US Customs and Border Protection agency are not backing down on this just yet, maintaining that OnePlus’ competing earbuds violate Apple’s trademark. Apple itself doesn’t seem to have had any hand in this at all and has not pursued any legal action against OnePlus.
KitGuru Says: The OnePlus Buds remain on sale in the US, so it is unclear if future shipments will be seized. No specific ban has been issued on imports, so there are still plenty of questions to be answered here.