Tuesday, March 13, 2018

YOU'VE BEEN SERVED! Counterfeit Metal Detector Case Headed To Trial; Blue Marble Still Actively Selling "Kingdetector" Counterfeits On At Least Two Sites!


Peter Franklin, CEO of San Francisco-based Blue Marble Products, LLC was officially served a summons on February 28, 2018 in the federal copyright infringement case filed in Texas by First Texas Products, LLC, a metal detector manufacturer. 

Blue Marble, accused of “acting in concert” and facilitating the “ongoing and unrestrained commercial importation of Counterfeit Metal Detectors into the United States”, is required to file its response to the complaint by April 30, 2018.

First Texas, in its original November 2, 2017 complaint against Shanghai Electronic, Blue Marble Products, LLC (d/b/a patiobloom.com), Costway.com (GoPlus Corp), Thesellingpost.biz, and Shanghai Zhangdu Electronic Commerce, d/b/a “King Detector”, alleged that Shanghai Electronic was manufacturing, marketing and distributing metal detectors that are “indentical in appearance and designed to products designed, manufactured and distributed by First Texas.”  

In addition, it appears that First Texas ordered what was purported to be a Bounty Hunter metal detector produced by the company from patiobloom.com, and instead received an unauthorized, counterfeit Chinese detector—a fugazi.

According to the complaint, the actual First Texas trademark was removed from the machines and their packaging, but the products and printed material, which include copyrighted artwork and literature, were alleged to be “exact copies of First Texas/ products and protected intellectual property.” 

Shanghai Electronic, in a conspiracy with Blue Marble Products, LLC and the other named defendants, is allegedly “involved in facilitating the ongoing and unrestrained commercial importation of counterfeit metal detectors.”

But here's the shocker: Blue Marble is still selling King Detector products on patiobloom.com, and has brazenly added more products from that Chinese “House of Knock-Offs” on at least two additional e-commerce sites it operates: gizmoregadget.com and lawnsalegiant.com. The Gizmore Gadget screen grab, taken earlier today, reveals what's likely another fugzai detector. (UPDATE- March 16: subsequent to the original publication of this story, the fugazi Bounty Hunter detector shown below was deleted from Gizmore Gadget.)

As you can see below in a screen capture taken earlier today, March 13, 2018, Blue Marble's Patio Bloom site features King Detector products available for purchase—knowingly and deliberately facilitating, proliferating and profiting from the ongoing sale of counterfeit products. (UPDATE-March 16: subsequent to the original publication of this story, King Detector-branded metal detectors were removed from Patio Bloom. However, they were replaced by several 'Pro Metal' detectors, including the one below. The Pro Metal detectors are also produced by King Detector, as shown immediately following the Patio Bloom listing.)

Patio Bloom features another King Detector knock-off, this one under the name “XeeStore”. Per its usual shtick, Blue Marble grabs the title and picture from an Amazon seller, this time one called OrangeA, while nearly doubling that seller's price. 

However, Blue Marble likely fulfills any orders for that product directly through King Detector, which sells the same item at less than $65.00.

Here's the identical detector, sold by King Detector for the low, low, low price of $63.97!
So, if you're counting, Blue Marble could be making nearly $100.00 on just one counterfeit sale.

On February 13, 2018, a default judgment was awarded First Texas against “defendants TheSellingPost.Biz, LLC, Shanghai Tianxun Electronic Equipment Company, Ltd., and Shanghai Zhangdu Electronic Commerce Co., Ltd. d/b/a KingDetector and their agents, employees, and attorneys, and all those persons in active concert or participation with them” which permanently enjoined them “from manufacturing, importing, purchasing, distributing, selling, or offering for sale any counterfeit metal detectors, including the Bounty Hunter® line of products designed and manufactured by the Plaintiff, as well as any associated and related products and literature.” 

Each defendant, TheSellingPost.Biz, LLC, Shanghai Tianxun Electronic Equipment Company, Ltd., and Shanghai Zhangdu Electronic Commerce Co., Ltd. (d/b/a KingDetector) was ordered to pay First Texas Products, L.L.C. “in the amount of $50,000 for violations of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act”, the statute covering false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact. 

More on this later.

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