In a bizarre incident, US Customs and Border Protection claimed that it has seized 2,000 counterfeit AirPods from Hong Kong at the Air Cargo facility at JFK Airport. Even though OnePlus earbuds do have a basic similar design as the first generation AirPods, there are a few visible differences like the logo, shape and of course, the packaging which clearly says OnePlus. CBP even valued the earbuds at Rs $3,98,000 had they been genuine.
CBP’s statement in the press release
“CBP Officers are protecting the American public from various dangers on a daily basis,” said Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations. “The interception of these counterfeit earbuds is a direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success by our CBP Officers daily.”
CBP tweeted the images of the OnePlus earbuds with caption “THAT’S NOT AN (Apple emoji)” accompanied by the press release.
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
To this faux pas, OnePlus USA had a quirky reply.
Hey, give those back! 🙃
— OnePlus USA (@OnePlus_USA) September 14, 2020
Despite the clear misunderstanding, CBP is not in a mood to back down on its claims. They told The Verge, “Upon examining the shipment in question, a CBP import specialist determined that the subject earbuds appeared to violate Apple’s configuration trademark. Apple has configuration trademarks on their brand of earbuds, and has recorded those trademarks with CBP,” the spokesperson said. Configuration trademarks cover the general appearance of a product, if you were wondering. “Based on that determination, CBP officers at JFK Airport have seized the shipment under 19 USC 1526 (e).”
The OnePlus buds were launched by the Chinese tech giant with their mid-range segment smartphone OnePlus Nord. The first-ever Truly Wireless earbuds from OnePlus are priced at Rs 4,999 and come in three colours, unlike Apple’s Airpods. The misunderstanding also comes as a surprise because there are a number of existing products in the market that look similar to Apple’s Airpods.
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